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Pakistan to Ban cryptocurrency services and prevent dealing

The government of Pakistan has suspended online cryptocurrency services in the country with the aim of preventing illegal operations related to digital assets. The Central Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Ministry of Information Technology have started work on banning cryptocurrencies, Minister of State for Finance Ayesha Ghose Pasha said during a meeting of the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee.

Pasha confirmed that cryptocurrencies “will not be legalized in Pakistan,” noting the requirements of the Financial Group for combating money laundering and terrorist financing (FATF) that the country must meet. Pasha cited reports that pointed to the potential risks that Pakistan may face after being removed from the FATF “gray” list last fall. The country entered the list in 2018 due to “strategic shortcomings related to the financing of counter-terrorism”. The Pakistani newspaper quoted Pasha as saying:

FATF: cryptocurrencies will not be legalized.

Supporting her position, SBP director Suhail Javad added that cryptocurrency operations are very risky and therefore will never be allowed in Pakistan. He also emphasized the large number of currencies that exist today and noted that the cryptocurrency market with a value of 2.8 trillion dollars has decreased to 1.2 trillion.

The bank official also addressed concern about the billions of dollars that Pakistanis have already invested in crypto assets. He explained that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) of the country are working on this case, but did not provide further details.

Pakistan is experiencing a boom in cryptocurrency trading and mining before the government banned them in April 2018, despite government attempts to stop them.

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