A high-ranking government official in Pakistan has assured MPs that the administration will not block cryptocurrency ventures. The announcement comes after a regional high court asked the federal government to regulate cryptocurrency and appointed a committee to investigate the issue in the coming months.
Pakistan’s Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Muhammad Khan, acknowledged cryptocurrencies as a novel idea last week when speaking to members of the National Assembly. He went on to say that the government had no objections if Pakistani youngsters took use of this new technology to invest.
Khan made the remarks on Wednesday in response to a calling attention notice in the lower chamber of parliament about the country’s lack of a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, according to the Daily Times. The minister stated that the government was not opposed to their regulation, but that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had some issues that needed to be addressed.
According to the government source, the monetary authority is now evaluating the situation, which should be brought to the Finance Committee. “The SBP was saying we should move forward in this regard very carefully,” Ali Khan added.
The shift comes three years after the State Bank of Pakistan prohibited the use of bitcoin. The SBP declared in a circular issued in the spring of 2018 that virtual currencies such as bitcoin, pakcoin, onecoin, and tokens from initial coin offerings are not legal money and that any interactions with them, including keeping, transferring, and trading, are illegal.
The Regional High Court has ordered the government to report on cryptocurrency regulations.
On Wednesday, the Sindh High Court, Pakistan’s top judicial authority in the southern province of Sindh, requested the Islamabad government to implement cryptocurrency rules. It also established a committee led by the federal finance secretary and charged it with presenting a report on the subject within three months.
As the worldwide popularity of cryptocurrencies grows, many Pakistanis are becoming interested in these assets as well. The publication highlights the vast number of social media groups that teach how to acquire, sell, and mine cryptocurrency, as well as the hundreds of thousands of views on Urdu-language YouTube videos devoted to bitcoin. More and more Pakistani traders are using online cryptocurrency exchanges, and crypto apps frequently outnumber the apps of the country’s top banks in terms of downloads.