According to reports, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), is seeking to ban cryptocurrency transactions in Pakistan.
According to reports, the Sindh High Court in Pakistan held a hearing on the legal status cryptocurrency in the country. Several Pakistani authorities, including SBP, presented a document to court arguing that Bitcoin (BTC), a cryptocurrency, is illegal and can’t be traded.
Samaa TV, a local news channel, reported that the document listed at least 11 countries (including China and Saudi Arabia) that had opted to ban cryptocurrency. According to reports, the central bank of Pakistan urged the court to not only ban cryptocurrency activity but also to impose sanctions against crypto exchanges.
SBP also referred several investigations by the Federal Investigation Agency against crypto exchanges, citing investor protection and money laundering concerns. The FIA opened a criminal investigation into Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world, in January. It alleged that there was a link to a multimillion-dollar scam in crypto.
Despite the recommendation of the SBP for a blanket ban against crypto, the Sindh High Court did not order a ban on crypto transactions within Pakistan.
Instead, the court ordered that the bank’s appeal is sent to the finance & law ministries. They will decide on the legal status and constitutionality of crypto currencies in the country.
This news comes nearly a decade after the SBP in April 2018 issued an initial ban on digital currencies and tokens. The central bank claimed that Bitcoin and initial coin offerings, as well as other cryptocurrencies, were not legal tender. They were also not “issued or guarantee by the government of Pakistan.”
Cointelegraph reached out to SBP for comment but they did not respond immediately. In the event of new information, this article will be updated.
Similar: In three years, the number of countries that ban crypto has doubled
The Pakistani government’s latest actions echo similar developments in other countries like India and Russia where central banks are trying to ban crypto while others aren’t necessarily inclined to do so. According to an order from the Supreme Court of India, India’s central banks had to lift their ban on banks dealing with crypto-related companies in 2020.