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Pakistan Government Not Adverse To Cryptocurrency

A high-ranking official in Pakistani government has stated that the executive power would not oppose cryptocurrency investment. This statement comes after a high court in Pakistan has asked the federal government regulate cryptocurrency and created a committee to investigate the issue over the next few months.

Pakistan government has no objection to crypto investments

Ali Muhammad Khan, Pakistan’s Minister for State for Parliamentary Affairs, acknowledged cryptocurrency as a new concept. He addressed members of the National Assembly. The minister then stated that there was no objection to the Pakistani youth investing through the new technology.

According to the Daily Times, Khan made these comments Wednesday in response a calling attention notice in parliament about the lack of a regulatory framework regarding cryptocurrencies in Pakistan. While the minister said that they did not oppose the regulation, he pointed out that the State Bank of Pakistan ( SBP) had certain reservations that should be addressed.

According to the government official, the monetary authority was currently reviewing the matter and should refer it to the Finance Committee. Ali Khan said, “The SBP was telling us to move forward in that regard very carefully.”

Three years ago, the State Bank of Pakistan had banned cryptocurrency trading. The SBP released a circular in spring 2018 stating that virtual currencies such as bitcoin, pakcoin or onecoin, as well tokens from initial coin offering, are not legal tender. All dealings with them, including holding, trading, and transferring, was prohibited

The bank also stressed that no individual or entity was allowed to buy, sell, exchange, or issue digital coins. Reza Baqir (head of the SBP) stated that in April this year, Reza said that the regulator was looking at cryptocurrencies to determine if they could be used to bring transactions off the books and into a regulatory framework.

Regional High Court orders government to report on Crypto Regulations

On Wednesday, the Sindh High Court – the highest court in the southeastern Pakistani region – urged Islamabad’s government to adopt cryptocurrency regulations. The federal finance secretary headed the committee, which was charged with producing a report within three months.

During the hearing of a petition challenging crypto ban, court argued that steps should be taken for regulation of cryptocurrency in consultation with all parties, including the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, the SBP, Ministry of Law and Justice and the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication. According to the Express Tribune, members of the Federal Investigation Agency, SBP, as well as petitioners, attended the proceedings.

Another crypto-related case was also reported by the publication. It was heard at Lahore High Court, with participation of representatives from several parties, including the SECP and SBP. According to the English-language daily, the court requested assistance from institutions regarding the matter and asked them to present the relevant legal positions.

Many Pakistanis are now interested in cryptocurrencies as they grow in popularity. According to the newspaper, there are many social media sites that explain how to trade, buy and mine cryptocurrency. YouTube videos in Urdu dedicated to bitcoin have hundreds upon thousands of views. Online cryptocurrency exchanges are becoming more popular in Pakistan. Crypto applications are often downloaded more than those of the largest banks.