Government of Pakistan has decided to suspend cryptocurrency services available on the internet in the country to prevent illegal digital currency transactions.
The development came in order to prevent illegal digital currency transactions as per the guidelines of the global anti-terror financing watchdog.
While addressing the Senate Standing Committee Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha said that the government will never legalize cryptocurrency in Pakistan.
“FATF had set a condition that cryptocurrency will not be legalised,” she maintained.
Country’s Central Bank Director Sohail Jawad, while lauding Pasha’s views, said that crypto transactions involve “high risk”; therefore, it will never be granted permission in Pakistan.
SBP officials also said that cryptocurrency is a total fraud which will never be recognized in Pakistan.
“Cyrtocurrency is virtual currency and more than 16,000 types have been formed so far,” he said, adding that the $2.8 trillion market has now shrunk to $1.2 trillion.
During the meeting, Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Senator Saleem Mandviwalla raised concerns over the billions of dollars invested in the market.
Addressing the concerns, the SBP official said that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) — a financial intelligence unit which helps Pakistan to fight against terrorism financing and money laundering — are working on this.
Pakistan has seen a boom in trading and mining cryptocurrency, with interest increasing in thousands of views of related social media videos and online exchange transactions.
Cryptocurrency mining flourished in Pakistan until April 2018 when the government banned trading and mining virtual currencies. There is still a growing mining industry despite the fact that many mining farms have been shut down since this ban was implemented.
Most exchanges operate through ghost partners and never show on the regulatory radar. However, the government has been making continuous efforts to stop crypto trading.