Benzinga - Pakistan's official approach to cryptocurrencies is becoming stricter, despite the continued enthusiasm of its citizens to seek cover against the national currency's depreciation amid the country's unstable political climate.
During a meeting with the Standing Senate Committee on Finance, Aisha Ghaus PashaPakistani Minister of State for Finance and Revenue, strengthened the government's stance against the digital currency phenomenon.
Pasha has stated categorically that cryptocurrencies “will never be legalized in Pakistan”.
According to Pasha, the strict position is motivated by stipulations imposed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)an international financial watchdog.
By refraining from legalizing cryptocurrencies, Pakistan aims to avoid the infamous FATF “grey list”.
Reports suggest the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the country's central bank, and the Ministry of Information Technology have been tasked with taking action to ban cryptocurrencies.
Early last year, the SBP revealed its intention to outlaw cryptocurrencies, marking its inaugural explicit stance on emerging fintech.
Simultaneously, Pakistani banks have started warning customers that crypto trading is prohibited.
Messages from Pakistani financial institutions inform customers that any transfer of funds to foreign crypto-trading platforms, directly or indirectly, is considered risky, illegal and in violation of SBP regulations.
In April 2023, a report by Dawn, a Pakistani newspaper, pointed out that customers had been officially warned against using debit or credit cards for crypto trading.
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Despite this, the appeal of cryptocurrencies within the country seems to be increasing.
quoted dawn Zeeshan Ahmedcountry general manager financial raina Gulf-based crypto-trading platform, which reported that the annual trading volume for Pakistani wallets has increased to $25 billion from $18-20 billion previously.
This crackdown on cryptocurrencies coincides with a period of political upheaval in Pakistan.
The recent arrest and subsequent release of former Prime Minister Imran Khan sparked widespread protests across the country.
Amid the tumult, Pakistan's currency, the rupee, plunged to a record low against the dollar, underscoring the country's difficult economic situation.
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Photo: Syed Wasiq Shah from Pixabay
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