Pakistan’s central bank reportedly wants to ban crypto

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is reportedly trying to ban all cryptocurrency transactions in Pakistan.

The Sindh High Court of Pakistan reportedly held a hearing related to the legal status of cryptocurrencies in the country, in which several Pakistani authorities, including the SBP, filed a document with the court, arguing that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) are illegal and cannot be used. for trade.

According to local news channel Samaa TV, the document cites at least 11 countries, including China and Saudi Arabia, that have chosen to ban cryptocurrencies. Pakistan’s central bank reportedly urged the court not only to ban cryptocurrency activity, but also to impose sanctions against cryptocurrency exchanges.

The SBP also referred to various investigations against cryptocurrency exchanges by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), citing investor protection risks, as well as money laundering and terrorism concerns. As previously reported, the FIA ​​launched a criminal investigation against Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, in early January, alleging a possible link to a multi-million dollar cryptocurrency scam in the region.

Despite SBP recommending a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies, the Sindh High Court has yet to order a ban on cryptocurrency transactions in Pakistan.

Instead, the court ordered that the bank’s appeal be sent to the finance and law ministries, which will make a final decision on the legal status of cryptocurrencies in the country and determine whether a cryptocurrency ban would be constitutional.

The news comes years after the SBP issued an initial ban on trading digital currencies and tokens in April 2018. At the time, the central bank argued that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or initial coin offerings were not tender. legal and were not “issued or guaranteed by the government of Pakistan”.

SBP did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment. This article will be updated pending new information.

Related: The number of countries banning cryptocurrencies has doubled in three years

The latest moves by the Pakistani government echo similar events unfolding in many countries, including India and Russia, where central banks are trying to ban cryptocurrencies, while other parts of the government are not necessarily inclined to such a ban. In 2020, India’s central bank had to lift a ban on banks’ dealings with cryptocurrency-related companies in accordance with an order from the country’s Supreme Court.