Qatari state investment body wary of crypto 'speculation'

Qatar sovereign wealth fund wary of crypto 'speculation', says space 'needs maturity'
2 min read
24 June, 2021
The head of the Qatar Investment Authority said the cryptocurrency space would have to show 'maturity' before the sovereign wealth fund considers taking positions.
The investment body's chief made the remarks at the Qatar Economic Forum [Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images]

The Qatari state's sovereign wealth fund is hesitant to put money into the cryptocurrency market because of "[s]peculation".

The huge ups and downs of many digital currencies are making them less attractive to state players, according to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday.

Bitcoin, the world's first digital currency, is currently valued at around $33,000 after tanking by more than half since its peak of close to $65,000 about two months ago.

Qatar Investment Authority CEO Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud explained that the crypto space would "need a bit of maturity before we make our view about investing".

Rather than turning to cryptocurrency, the authority is to increase its holdings in the United States and Asia, according to its CEO.

Al-Mahmoud noted that this comes as it tries to reduce reliance on investments in Europe's markets.

The investment chief also explained that the wealth fund is putting significant cash into "warehousing to support e-commerce business".

"This is a segment we are deploying into big time."

His comments came at the Qatar Economic Forum 2021, an event which Bloomberg "[p]owered" and bodies including the Qatari Ministry of Commerce and Industry underwrote.

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The Forum lasted from this Monday to Wednesday, and, according to its website, it dealt with topics including the coronavirus recovery process.

Earlier this month, El Salvador became the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender, fuelling speculation within the crypto space that more states will follow suit with adoption.

The news followed further reports from China, India and Turkey of crackdowns on cryptocurrency activity.