The executive branch will not oppose cryptocurrency investments, a senior government official has told Pakistani lawmakers. The statement came as a regional high court requested the federal government to regulate cryptocurrency and formed a committee to look into the matter in the coming months.
The minister said the Pakistani government has no objection to investing in crypto
In a speech to members of the National Assembly this week, Ali Muhammad Khan, Pakistan’s state minister for parliamentary affairs, acknowledged cryptocurrency as a new concept. He then mentioned that the government has no objection if Pakistani youth take the opportunity to invest in this new technology.
Khan made the remarks on Wednesday in response to a call for attention in the lower house of parliament over the absence of a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in the country, the Daily Times reported. The minister explained that the government did not oppose their regulations but noted that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had some reservations that needed to be addressed.
Government officials have revealed that the financial authority is currently reviewing the matter which should be sent to the Finance Committee. Ali Khan added, “SBP says we should proceed very carefully in this regard.”
The course changes three years after the State Bank of Pakistan introduced the cryptocurrency ban. In a circular published in the spring of 2018, the SBP said that tokens from virtual currency such as Bitcoin, Pakcoin, Onecoin and the initial coin offer are not legal tenders and all transactions with them, including holding, transferring and trading, are prohibited.
At the time, the bank further emphasized that no entity or individual was allowed to issue, buy, sell or exchange digital coins. But in April this year, SBP chief Reza Bakir said regulators were studying cryptocurrencies and exploring their potential to bring out-of-book transactions into a regulatory framework.
The Regional High Court directed the government to report on crypto regulation
Again on Wednesday, the Sindh High Court, the highest judicial authority in the southeastern Pakistani province, asked the government in Islamabad to adopt cryptocurrency regulations. It has also formed a committee headed by the federal finance secretary and tasked with preparing a report on the matter within the next three months.
During the hearing of a petition challenging the crypto ban, the court stressed that steps should be taken to control cryptocurrency in consultation with all stakeholders, including the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), SBP, Ministry of Law and Justice. Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications. According to a report in the Express Tribune, the proceedings involved the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the SBP and the applicants.
The publication cites another crypto-related case that was heard in the Lahore High Court with the participation of legal representatives from several interested parties, such as the SECP, SBP, FIA, and the federal government. The English-language daily revealed that the court had sought assistance from the institutions in the matter, asking them to present their relevant legal position.
As the popularity of cryptocurrency has increased worldwide, many Pakistanis have also turned their attention to these resources. The newspaper points to a large number of social media groups that explain how to buy, trade and mine crypto because YouTube videos in Urdu have millions of views dedicated to Bitcoin. More and more businesses in Pakistan are using online cryptocurrency exchanges, and crypto applications often download more than the apps of the country’s largest banks.
Do you expect Pakistan to adopt crypto-friendly regulations in the near future? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
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