Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Pakistan’s Minister of State for Finance, declared on May 17 that the government has no plans to legalize cryptocurrency in the nation. The statement was made during a meeting of the Senate’s standing committee on finance.
According to Pasha, both the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Ministry of Information and Technology have commenced work towards banning the use of cryptocurrency. This move is aimed at discouraging its usage amongst the population due to its inherent risks and concerns.
The minister also noted that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had recommended imposing a ban on cryptocurrency. This international task force, which develops policies to combat money laundering and terrorism financing, has expressed concerns over the potential misuse of cryptocurrencies for illegal activities.
SBP officials further highlighted the volatility and risks associated with the global cryptocurrency market, noting that its value had diminished from $2.8 trillion to $1.2 trillion.
The officials emphasized the high-risk nature of cryptocurrency, which often involves a higher degree of fraud. “Pakistan will never allow its usage,” officials added, further cementing the government’s stance.
Despite the government’s position, Senator Saleem Mandviwalla pointed out that Pakistan had invested billions of dollars in the crypto market. This assertion underscores the dichotomy between the government’s policy and the financial behavior of some Pakistani individuals and businesses.
The SBP further reported that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has been examining the Pakistani investment into cryptocurrencies.
According to their findings, as many as 16,000 different cryptocurrencies had emerged in the country. This revelation illustrates the rapid and widespread proliferation of digital currencies, despite the government’s firm stance against them.
With these developments, Pakistan joins a growing list of countries grappling with the regulatory challenges posed by the rise of digital currencies.
As the global cryptocurrency market continues to evolve, governments worldwide are trying to balance the potential economic benefits of these new technologies against the potential risks they pose for financial stability and security.