The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has announced a ban on any and all cryptocurrencies in the country. Furthermore, it asked the Sindh High Court to ban “unauthorized operations” of cryptocurrency exchanges and impose penalties on them.
Total ban on cryptocurrencies in Pakistan
The decision came after Pakistan’s Interministerial Committee recommended the measures. The committee is constituted by the Sindh High Court under the supervision of the Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and officials from the Pakistan Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Information Technology, Telecommunications Authority and Securities Commission.
The decision was disclosed in a 38-page report submitted to the court by SBP deputy governor Sima Kamil.
According to the committee, cryptocurrencies should be declared illegal because their risks far outweigh their benefits for Pakistan.
At the same time, the report warned that cryptocurrencies can be used for money laundering and terrorist financing.
As mentioned, the committee urged the court to ban “unauthorized operations” from cryptocurrency exchanges and impose penalties.
The report cites recent investigations by the Pakistan Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) of cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance, and the risks they pose to investors.
In this regard, the Sindh High Court instructed the committee to send a copy of the report to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Law to make the final decision on whether any form of cryptocurrency will be banned in Pakistan.
Ultimately, it will be up to the two ministries to jointly decide whether the cryptocurrency businesses that already exist in the country can continue to operate or should shut down immediately.
The final decision is expected to be released on April 11.