By Hinza Asif
KARACHI – As some of the countries are open to debate on legalisation of cryptocurrencies, others are leading sustained crackdowns on their use, and Pakistan is among the list of nations where Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies remained controversial since its beginning.
Lately, the cryptocurrency debate made headlines after Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance discussed it in the upper house of parliament.
As people are looking to hear some good news from the government amid the economic crisis, Minister of State for Finance Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha cleared the air, saying the government would never legalize cryptocurrency in Pakistan.
Pasha, a key member of Ishaq Dar-led financial team, made it clear that the government has not officially recognized cryptocurrencies as legal tender. The country’s central bank issued warnings about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies and advised financial institutions not to facilitate their use.
The minister added that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the IT Ministry have started working on banning cryptos. The Minister also mentioned that Financial Action Task Force has also imposed conditions and cryptocurrencies will not be allowed.
The central bank also mentioned that cryptocurrency is a total fraud that will never be recognized in Pakistan. Federal Investigators and Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) also decided against Pakistani investment in cryptocurrency.
Earlier, Pakistan’s central bank maintained that cryptocurrencies were neither recognized as legal tender nor issued or guaranteed by the state. Officials saw crypto trading as speculative in nature and remained vocal against its legalization.
Senators also warned that Bitcoin and other digital currencies can be used for financing terrorism. The country of over 220 million experienced a rising trend in cryptocurrency adoption in previous years and was ranked third in the Global Crypto Adoption Index for 2020-21 but the financial institutions never endorsed the act.
Hinza Asif -Blockchain market analyst
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