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The Cryptocurrency Ban in Pakistan

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Cryptocurrencies – also known as digital currencies or virtual currencies can be easily understood as a digital form of money. However, unlike regular money cryptocurrencies are not developed on a state level. They are electronically generated using blockchain technology. The cryptocurrency mining method requires a huge number of computer machines, electricity, energy, and other resources.

The cryptocurrencies being banned in Pakistan are not new, in fact, the State Bank of Pakistan banned cryptocurrencies more than 3 years ago. It was in April 2018 that the central bank declared that all kinds of virtual and cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Pakcoin, OneCoin, DasCoin, and Pay Diamond are not legal and unrecognized by the government of Pakistan.

A statement released by the State Bank of Pakistan said,

“The SBP has not authorized or licensed any individual or entity for the issuance, sale, purchase, exchange or investment in any such virtual currencies/coins/tokens in Pakistan” 

Despite the ban on cryptocurrency ban in Pakistan, Pakistanis are one of the top nations to have invested in them. Pakistanis are in a constant struggle to legalize the cryptocurrency trade. They are of the opinion that legalizing this trade can help Pakistan overcome its debt crisis. Especially after the onset of the pandemic, the value of the Pakistani rupee has dropped considerably. Investing in bitcoin can help uplift the struggling economy. However, the government is of a different opinion. The government of Pakistan has not only banned all trade involving cryptocurrency but they are also freezing bank accounts that are dealing in cryptocurrency trade.

Also Read: Pakistani Investors Lose Rs.1 Billion in a Bitcoin Scam

Unfortunately, for all crypto investors the federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Fawad Chaudhry, has stated that Pakistan will not be legalizing cryptocurrencies anytime soon.

He explained,

“We are also bound through FATF conditions to refrain from allowing any such mode of payment in the country” 

He also added that digital currencies are too volatile at the moment and we are unaware as to where they are leading. He did mention that the world is moving towards a unified digital payment system. Legalizing the crypto trade is still a big question mark in Pakistan. The possibility of legalizing cryptocurrency is only possible if the government takes steps to regulate this form of currency and guarantees secure trade.

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