ban on cryptocurrencies, Pakistan

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2 years ago

Almost a year after a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies, Pakistan has come a long way in its attitude toward the space. A recent notice by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) declared that institutions willing to work in the sphere of “electronic money” can now get licenced by the SBP to “issue e-money for the purpose of digital payments.”

As reported by a Pakistani news association, The Express Tribune, the government hosted a meeting at the Islamabad office of the State Bank of Pakistan on April 1 for the discussion and formation of crypto regulations, termed Electronic Money Institutions (EMI) regulation.

The move toward compliance by the Pakistani government is far from what happened in 2015, when the country was tagged on the Financial Actions Task Force’s (FATF) grey list, which indicated that the country’s laws to counter terrorism financing and money laundering were ineffective. This month, the FATF again voiced concerns, spurring the Pakistan government to take a more serious look at the issues.

Government regulation will help

Noting the government's decision to regulate the use of electronic money, Muhammad Ahsan, the founder of Go4 Blockchain, a blockchain consulting company, applauded the get-serious approach, with reservations.

“This step reflects the forward-thinking of Pakistani Government, and with a few more regulations and reforms, cryptos will get better space for development in Pakistan. But there is much more required to do beforehand.”

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