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Kuwait Bans Cryptocurrency Payments and Investments

Kuwait Bans Cryptocurrency Payments and Investments


The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) of Kuwait has banned the use of cryptocurrencies for both payment and investment purposes. However, the MOCI did not ban trade, sell, or buying cryptocurrency. The ban, which was announced in circular number 1/2023 on July 18, 2023, is a significant decision that could have a major impact on the cryptocurrency industry in Kuwait.


The MOCI's decision is rooted in a growing concern over money laundering activities tied to digital currencies. The authority cited a recent study by the National Committee for Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, which is a joint committee of the MOCI, the Central Bank of Kuwait, the Capital Market Authority, and the Insurance Regulatory Unit.

In addition to the ban on payments and investments, the MOCI also prohibited all forms of cryptocurrency mining in Kuwait.


The MOCI's circular also clarified that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in Kuwait and cannot be recognized as a decentralized currency. The authority warned that any companies or individuals found to be in violation of the new rules would face "punitive consequences."


It remains to be seen how the ban will be enforced and whether it will be effective in preventing money laundering and terrorism financing. However, the MOCI's decision is a clear sign that the country is taking a cautious approach to digital assets.


It is important to note that the MOCI did not ban trade, sell, or buying cryptocurrency. This means that individuals and businesses in Kuwait are still able to own and trade cryptocurrencies, but they cannot use them to pay for goods and services or to invest in them.


The MOCI's decision is likely to have a significant impact on the cryptocurrency industry in Kuwait. It is possible that some businesses have to stop offering cryptocurrency-related services. However, it is also possible that the industry will adapt and find new ways to operate within the regulatory framework.


Only time will tell how the MOCI's decision will play out. However, it is clear that the country is taking a cautious approach to digital assets.


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