July 21, 2023

Kuwait Absolutely Bans All Operations Related To Crypto, Digital Assets



Kuwait asserted its commitment to banning all operations and transactions related to virtual assets.

In a statement, the Kuwaiti Capital Markets Authority (CMA) confirmed its absolute prohibition of cryptocurrencies and digital assets and their related operations, transactions, and use cases, including mining, investments, and payment. The CMA’s assertation came within a framework of enhancing efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

The authority also banned local regulators from issuing licenses to any virtual asset providers to operate in the Gulf country. It argued all bodies concerned to raise people’s awareness about the risks of dealing with virtual assets, especially cryptocurrencies because they have no legal status and are not issued or supported by any government.

This statement had been issued after the National Committee for Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism conducted a study regarding the commitment to applying Recommendation 15 by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The amended FATF Recommendation 15 requires that VASPs be regulated for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) purposes, that they are licensed or registered, and subject to effective systems for monitoring or supervision.

The regulator’s procedures and penalties for violating them come in line with the article (15) of Law No. 106 of 2013 regarding combating money laundering and terrorist financing.

Earlier in April, Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) Basel Al-Haroon said the central bank is closely following up on other countries’ experiences in the central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), pointing out that the bank has already formed a team for research to study the possibility to issue its digital dinar.

“The CBK is closely following the experiences of other countries that are issuing CBDCs…Accordingly, it has formed a team of experts from various fields within the CBK to study the topic.

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