Kuwait Bans Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Transactions

  • Kuwait became the latest country to impose a ban on operations related to almost all cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin.
  • The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) confirmed its commitment to a “complete ban” on the main use cases and operations involving cryptocurrencies, including payments, investments, and mining.
  • In addition to the bans, CMA also highlighted the need for customers to be cautious and aware of the risks associated with virtual assets.

Kuwait’s financial regulator, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), issued a directive stating that a ban has been imposed on cryptocurrencies.

Kuwait Decides on Ban for Cryptos

Kuwait

Kuwait became the latest country to impose a ban on operations related to almost all cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. On July 18, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA), the primary financial regulator in the country, issued a directive regarding the control and issuance of virtual assets in the country.

The directive from CMA confirmed its commitment to a “complete ban” on the main use cases and operations involving cryptocurrencies, including payments, investments, and mining. The directive also prohibits local regulators from issuing licenses that allow the provision of virtual asset services as a commercial business.

Meanwhile, securities and other financial instruments regulated by the Central Bank of Kuwait and the CMA are exempted from the latest ban, as mentioned in the statement notes.

In addition to the bans, CMA also highlighted the need for customers to be cautious and aware of the risks associated with virtual assets. The regulator specifically referred to cryptocurrencies, claiming that they “do not carry any legal status and are not issued or supported by any entity,” and added:

“This is not dependent on any asset or issuer, and their prices are always guided by speculation that exposes them to sharp declines.”

New regulations align with anti-money laundering measures

The regulator stated that violations of Kuwait’s Anti-Money Laundering laws are covered under Article 15 of Law No. 106 of 2013, which sets out the penalties for such violations.

The new regulations in Kuwait are aligned with the country’s anti-money laundering measures. CMA also referred to the results of a study conducted by the National Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Committee, which committed to implementing Recommendation 15 of the Financial Action Task Force.

According to local reports, CMA’s crypto restrictions are part of a new multi-department crypto ban in Kuwait, with similar directives issued by the Central Bank of Kuwait, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the Insurance Supervision Unit.

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