Cryptocurrency is Now Banned in Kuwait

Late last week the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) issued a circular banning crypto payments, investment and mining.

Kuwait is currently one of the cheapest countries in the world to mine bitcoin. It is estimated that last year the cost of mining in Kuwait was just $1,400 per BTC when bitcoin was worth more than $40,000 at the time. But, the high power consumption of mining doesn’t seem to be the reason for the ban. According to an article on Yahoo Finance, the reason behind the ban is money laundering. Countries are required to put up guardrails to prevent money laundering but I guess it’s easier to just ban it completely.

What does this mean if you already own cryptocurrency? My best guess is that it would make transferring large sums of money from abroad into your account in Kuwait more difficult. If you transfer large amounts of money you need to explain where it’s coming from and I don’t think you can tell the banks anymore that they’re from your crypto investments. Maybe a banker can clear this up for us.

Update: according to a reader the circular doesn’t apply to individuals.

20 replies on “Cryptocurrency is Now Banned in Kuwait”

The laws that resurfaces again a couple of days ago, has always been the case since 2020 and doesn’t apply to individuals. Individuals can still freely invest.

Just read the circular again. That’s the CMA’s circular directed towards the entities regulated by them. The CMA is telling all investment funds and etc to not provide cryptocurrency investment to its clients. The CMA has no authority over the individual person’s money – that would be the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK).

Along with that, it does not mention that individuals cannot invest in cryptocurrency. The circular is to prevent any crypto investing/mining licenses and activities under any commercial umbrella.

Please re-read it carefully with that context in mind. This circular has also been discussed amongst lawyers and been confirmed that it does not apply to individuals. Here’s a link to one of the lawyer’s stories:

Yeah that would make sense then if the circular is meant for investment funds but the line only absolute ban on mining adds a bit of confusion to it.

I have to say, its not well written.

Though, It’s nothing new from them or CBK. They’ve had this stance since 2020, the only difference now is that they’ve included commercial mining. You can still however mine at home as long as you don’t reach the the electricity usage limit for residential. Which I’ve heard is at 40,000 kWh. In other words, you can mine as a hobby, but not professionally.

I’m using google translate to the translate the circular so wasn’t sure if Google was doing a terrible translation job or the circular was vague to begin with lol

That would also explain why all the news sites are reporting that crypto is completely banned in Kuwait, they probably used google translate like I did.

Yeah, if you were using Google translate, you’re definitely not going to get the correct context – as weak as it is.

But please make sure to edit your blog post to clarify that it’s not banned for individuals. To prevent people from making the wrong decision.

Is this still the case? Can individuals continue to invest in cryptocurrency in Kuwait? I regularly use ‘Rain’ for trading and buying/selling. However, one of my friends, who trade in USDT peer-to-peer transactions in Kuwait, was arrested (although there were additional reasons for his arrest). This situation concerns me slightly.

This law has nothing to do with Individual investing/trading crypto abroad. It’s to prevent any local business from investing, trading or accepting crypto (so no restaurant or shop in Kuwait can now accept crypto). It also prevents any investment company from making a crypto fund or exchange or minting their own coins etc…

Now as for the story about this being about compliance with money laundering regulations, well that is BS since AML regulations were born in the US and forced on the world, and the US doesn’t have these restrictions.

There is however some very strong currents under the surface in an internal struggle within the political / business elites here. There are some crazy laws popping up which are aimed specifically at just one single Individual. Have you noticed you can’t pay rent in cash anymore? Have you noticed you can’t pay more than 10KD cash at any pharmacy now? Just specifically pharmacy, not any other establishment, and yes thats specifically to stop one big guy from doing what he was doing with impunity.

He mentioned that you cannot pay MORE than 10KD in cash so you paid less which is why there was no issue in your transaction.

So to sum up.. individuals can invest or mine crypto while institutions cannot.
On that note, anyone here withdrew to Kuwait bank account from any international exchange? Just want to make sure I’ll be able to withdraw without banks making a big deal out of it

From my knowledge, you would only raise red flags if the sum is equivalent too or greater than 3000 kd. If I were you I would transfer the crypto earnings to an international bank account and from the international bank account to Kuwait and have it be under 3000kd and if they ask I have my digital wallet, and online trade history to help my case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *