State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) may ban all cryptocurrency transactions in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Sindh High Court has reportedly held a hearing on the legal status of cryptocurrencies in the country, where several authorities, including the SBP, presented a document arguing that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) are illegal and cannot be used for trading.
According to local news channel Samaa TV, the document cited at least 11 countries, including China and Saudi Arabia, that have chosen to ban cryptocurrencies. The Pakistani state bank reportedly intends to impose penalties against crypto exchanges in addition to banning cryptocurrency activities in the aforementioned court.
SBP also underlined money laundering and terrorism concerns, as well as investor protection risks, citing several investigations conducted by the Federal Agency of Investigation (FIA) against cryptocurrency exchanges. As previously reported, the FIA launched a criminal investigation in early January against Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, for an alleged possible link to a multi-million-dollar crypto scam in the region.
Despite the SBP proposing a general ban on crypto, the Sindh High Court has yet to impose a ban on crypto transactions in Pakistan. Instead, the court decided that the bank’s appeal should be sent to the finance and legal ministries, who will make a final decision on the legal status of cryptocurrencies in the country and determine whether a crypto ban will be constitutional.