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Where there is smoke there is fire, Qatar investment in crypto with El Salvador

Where there is smoke there is fire, Qatar investment in crypto with El Salvador

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TL;DR

  • The rumor that Qatar sovereign fund will invest half a trillion dollars in Bitcoin while not being as plausible as some might wish, could be possible through another route
  • The creator of the rumor Max Keiser is also the advisor to the President of El Salvador the most Bitcoin friendly country
  • While Qatar does not want to get into crypto as a government, it is full fledged moving forward when it comes to digital assets, blockchain, and even CBDCs
  • The visit of the Prince of Qatar previously to El Salvador could be the fire that will allow El Salvador to become the biggest Bitcoin miner globally.

After Qatar was pushed into the crypto scene back in September claiming that the visit of HH Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar to El Salvador would include discussions on Bitcoin mining, once again Qatar is being shoved into the crypto scene with rumors that the Qatar Sovereign Fund will be purchasing $500 billion worth of Bitcoin.

Max Keiser, a well-known Bitcoin influencer with 545,000 followers on X, the host of the Keiser report a financial program, has used his platform to educate people on Bitcoin and the dangers of central banking and was the first to push this new rumor.

Keiser is a longtime Bitcoin advocate and educator, having advised people to buy Bitcoin since the price was $1. He is also by coincidence or maybe not, the Senior Bitcoin Advisor to Nayib Bukele the President of El Salvador.

Keiser had stated on X, “I have 1 word for you $100,000 Bitcoin God Candle fans. QATAR, the rumors are getting very loud on this. Their SWF (Sovereign Wealth Fund) rumored to looking to buy 1/2 trillion BTC (Bitcoin).”

Why the rumor is more false than true?

While the news ignited excitement, and media stories across the globe, it just doesn’t seem possible or plausible. First The Qatar Investment Authority founded in 2005 had in October 2023, an estimated $475 billion of assets under management, so as many mentioned would Qatar cough up its entire assets to buy Bitcoin. The answer is no!

In addition the most recent investment by The Qatar Investment Authority had nothing to do with crypto. It invested $1 billion in India Reliance Retail ventures.

In January 2023, Qatar Investment Authority CEO Mansoor Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud told Bloomberg that they would be interested in the credit space, and AI (Artificial Intelligence) as a theme of investments.

In November 2023 Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) invested in Databricks, a data and artificial intelligence (AI) company whose platform unifies data, analytics, and AI to help customers manage their enterprise data and build their own generation AI solutions.

Yet there are no prominent or even small signs that Qatar sovereign wealth fund is even close to investing in Bitcoin, if it were to invest a $500 billion investment that would be over 10% of Bitcoin’s total market cap.

Qatar has not even legalized the trade of cryptocurrencies and as per its Central Bank and even local banks in Qatar such as Al Ahli Bank warned customers against trading, buying and selling virtual assets and currencies through accounts and banking services, citing the reasons as being associated with high risks. So why would its sovereign fund invest in high risk asset that the Central Bank itself doesn’t support?

In 2022 the CEO of Qatar Sovereign Wealth Fund showed interest in investing in Blockchain but shunned crypto, while Qatar’s Central Bank Governor stated that crypto assets are a technology innovation that will take us to a new era of fast accessible payments and financial services. At the time the Central Bank governor expressed Qatar’s interest in working on CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency)

In 2023 The Qatar Financial Authority Centre launched its Digital assets Lab, and signed partnerships with Blockchain companies such as R3 and Settlemint, but did no move when it came to crypto.

On the contrary the Qatari government is actually working on improving its stance with FATF which had mentioned that Qatar has a very strong level of compliance with the FATF Standards, with only minor improvements needed in relation to risk understanding, implementation of TFS and NPO preventive measures, virtual assets and VASPs, wire transfers, transparency for legal persons and arrangements and cross-border movements of cash and BNIs.

Why the rumor could have truth to it?

There could be many reasons for trying to create a rumor such as this. One of the most obvious is to push Bitcoin’s price up, which actually happened. Bitcoin’s price rose 10% in the last 4 days to over $42,000. The price hike is not just because of rumors but also because the USA has implied it will lower interest rates, as well as the Bitcoin ETF possible approvals, and of course the upcoming Bitcoin halving.

Yet maybe the rumor could be true. What if Qatar makes an investment in an energy fueled datacenter ( renewable or oil and gas) in El Salvador that will be used to mine Bitcoin and so inadvertently becomes an investor in Bitcoin. This is what was implied when Qatar’s Prince visited El Salvador. El Salvador was noted as entering a public private partnership worth $1billion to create the world’s largest Bitcoin mining farm. Not surprisingly, Keiser is an advisor to the President of El Salvador and half of a billion dollars is $500 million.

Finally HE President Bukele during his participation in the Doha Forum, said that his visit to Doha aims to strengthen diplomatic, political and commercial relations, as well as enhance cooperation and investment relations with the State of Qatar. He added that the two countries have not yet explored their full potential, expressing El Salvador’s interest in collaborating and working with the State of Qatar in various fields, especially in oil and gas since his country has great oil wealth and cooperating with Qatari companies would help take advantage of it.

So maybe just maybe there is fire where there is smoke, Bitcoin mining farm built using the fire of oil and gas, or maybe even the sun!

The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Lara Abdul Malak

Lara Abdul Malak is a seasoned tech journalist who got interested in blockchain after interviewing Vitalik Buterin in 2014. She is focused on the blockchain ecosytem in the MENA region. She HODLS Ethereum.

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