Despite having a law that effectively bans the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has blasted the Qatari government for not paying enough attention to cryptocurrency regulation. The anti-money laundering watchdog made the statement in a publication on its website about Qatar’s anti-money laundering and terrorism financing measures.
In the document, the FATF admitted that the wealthy Middle Eastern country has substantially improved in its compliance with the FATF’s requirements but pointed out that the country still has a long way to go in this regard.
FATF releases annual evaluation of Qatar’s anti-money laundering efforts
In the same report, the FATF released the 2023 version of its ratings of Qatar’s technical compliance with its recommendations on anti-money laundering and terrorism financing. The ratings have two subdivisions: one for technical compliance with the recommendations and the other for the effectiveness of said measures.
Interestingly, Qatar didn’t score a non-compliant rating in any category, but its cumulative assessment leaves room for improvement.
While reacting to the ratings, the FATF pointed out that Qatar’s terrorist financing prosecutions are still few and far between, with an inconsistent link between the country’s risk profile and the nature of its convictions. It also added that Qatar isn’t putting up the necessary controls to collect accurate and up-to-date information about cryptocurrency users in the country.
Crypto community reacts to FATF’s advisory
As expected, the FATF evaluation sparked mixed reactions among members of the crypto community on Twitter, with some questioning why the Qatari government should listen to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in the first place. Some expressed support for the advisory, while others pointed out the oddity of issuing such recommendations for a country that has banned cryptocurrency in the first place.