Official: Pakistan Announces New Ban on Crypto
Multiple local media reports state that Pakistan's Minister of State for Finance and Revenue, Aisha Ghaus Pasha, announced the country's decision to ban cryptocurrency services and expressed that crypto trading will never be legalized. This stance was supported by other officials, including Sohail Jawad, Director of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
Pasha stated that the ban on crypto was a requirement set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which removed Pakistan from its grey list in October. The grey list consists of countries identified as lacking sufficient measures against money laundering and terrorist financing but are actively working to address these issues.
The SBP and the Ministry of Information and Technology are reportedly working on drafting the legislation for the cryptocurrency ban. Following this announcement, the Pakistani Crypto Twitter community expressed strong disapproval of the upcoming ban.
While the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) lacks the authority to impose sanctions on non-compliant nations, its assessments hold significant influence over government and corporate policies globally. Pakistan is currently facing severe economic challenges and is intense negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout, making a positive evaluation from the FATF potentially crucial for its political standing.
Crypto adoption has been notable in Pakistan, with reports suggesting that its citizens held around $20 billion worth of cryptocurrencies in 2021. Nonetheless, the government has long expressed opposition to cryptocurrencies, with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reportedly advocating for a crypto ban since at least January.
Despite this stance, Pakistan has plans to introduce a central bank digital currency by 2025 and has recently adopted a national blockchain Know Your Customer platform.