There can be a crypto ban in Pakistan. Pakistan has planned to ban the use of digital currencies, a report from the local media said citing the report that was submitted to the SHC (Sindh High Court) on Wednesday (12.01.2022). Let us have a look at some of the cryptocurrencies in Pakistan latest news.
Crypto Ban In Pakistan: Latest Updates
The SHC (Sindh High Court) has been hearing a case related to the use of digital currencies in the country. For the first time, clear positions have been taken by the central bank on the digital currencies and requested the SHC to not only impose a ban on crypto but also charge penalties against digital currency exchanges.
The state of digital currencies in Pakistan has been in obscurity in the absence of rules and laws to govern the use of cryptos for the purpose of trade. On October 20, 2021, the Sindh Court asked the federal government to introduce regulations relating to the use of digital currencies within 3 months. The court ordered the government to create a committee led by the federal secretary of finance to evaluate the legal state of cryptos in the country. That’s how the crypto ban in Pakistan began. If you are wondering, Is cryptocurrency legal in Pakistan, there were no laws that dealt with crypto in this country till now. But soon regulations are expected to come on the same.
The court has further instructed the governing bodies to arrive with a report on the usage of cryptos. The report was then submitted to the SHC on 12.01.2022. The report concluded that digital currency is termed as illegal in Pakistan and it cannot be further used for the purpose of trading.
The report also states at least 11 nations that including Saudi and China that have also banned cryptocurrencies. The report also highlights the latest investigation by the FIA against digital currency exchanges like OctaFX and Binance and also the risks that were posed by the exchanges to the investors.
The SHC has ordered the reports to be sent to the law and finance ministries to evaluate if the crypto ban in Pakistan will be within the compass of the Constitution. They would also design a legal framework accordingly.
A two member bench led by Justice Karim Agha heard the complete case of the crypto ban in Pakistan. SBP Deputy Governor Seema Kamil presented the 38-page report suggesting that digital currencies be declared illegal. The report states that crypto is a digital business that could be availed to finance activities of terrorism and also to launder money.
A crucial question was asked during the hearing:
“What would be the status of cryptocurrencies in the intervening months before a final decision is made?”
The court stated that the FIA (Federal Investigation Agency) and several other agencies would prevail to act as per their rules. It requested the court to prevent the “unauthorized operations” of digital currency exchanges and charge penalties against them “as some other countries have done.”
Petitioner Waqar Zaka requested the court that cryptos be declared legal as a good proportion of Pakistanis were interested in them. The court is scheduled for the next hearing of the case on April 12.
Crypto Ban In Pakistan: State Bank Of Pakistan Takes A Clear Position
The report presented to the SHC (Sindh High Court) portrays a clear position adopted by the central bank for the very first time. In April last year, SBP Governor Raza Baqir had stated that the central bank is learning about digital currencies and their ability for bringing proceedings happening off the books into a governing framework. In an interview with a reputed media house, he said,
“We are studying that [Central Bank Digital Currency] very carefully.”
He further stated that it will not only boost the efforts of the central bank for the inclusions but will also enable it to make progress in its fight towards countering terrorism financing and anti-money laundering cases.
However, prior to this prime statement, the central bank had prevented the transactions in cryptocurrencies and announced them as ‘illegal tender’. In a notice that has been issued to banks in 2018, SBP cautioned the banks that digital currencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Pakcoin, etc. are not legal tender guaranteed or issued by the Government of Pakistan. At the time of writing this, the crypto ban in Pakistan, State Bank of Pakistan Bitcoin price in Pakistan is 76,50,703.50 PKR.
The Pakistan government along with the State Bank of Pakistan planned for a crypto ban in Pakistan. The SBP and the federal government said that this is a report that has been submitted on 12.01.2022 to the SHC (Sindh High Court) which has been hearing a case since April, 12021 on digital currencies. The report termed digital currencies as an illegal tender in the country and no trade shall be allowed with cryptos.