Pakistan bans cryptocurrencies

Published: April 6, 2018
SBP says they are not legal tender. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

SBP says they are not legal tender. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

KARACHI: In a major development, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has banned cryptocurrencies in the country.

While the volume of trading remains on the lower side in Pakistan, Bitcoin’s phenomenal rise in value during 2017 has tempted many to open accounts with various exchanges and trade.

Its acceptance at the merchant level in the country is negligible, but many users – at an individual level – are tempted to trade given cryptocurrencies’ spectacular rally in recent times.

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However, in a circular issued on its website, the central bank said that virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Pakcoin, OneCoin, DasCoin, Pay Diamond or Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) tokens are not legal tender, issued or guaranteed by the Pakistan government.

“The SBP has not authorised or licensed any individual or entity for the issuance, sale, purchase, exchange or investment in any such virtual currencies/coins/tokens in Pakistan,” it said in the statement.

“All banks, development financial institutions, microfinance banks and payment system operators, payment service providers are advised to refrain from processing, using, trading, holding, transferring value, promoting and investing in virtual currencies/tokens.

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“Further, they will not facilitate their customers/account holders to transact in VCs/ICO Tokens. Any transaction in this regard shall immediately be reported to the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) as a suspicious transaction,” added the SBP in the statement.

Bitcoin is currently priced at $6,643.26, a fall of close to 66% since it hit a high of near $19,780 in December last year. Its current market capitalisation stands at $112.7 billion.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Rohail
    Apr 7, 2018 - 12:15AM

    From what I can see, at Statebank website, it’s “CAUTION REGARDING RISKS OF VIRTUAL CURRENCIES”.

    How does that really mean a ban?Recommend

  • BrainBro
    Apr 7, 2018 - 12:53AM

    Regulate it. Don’t ban it.Recommend

  • Sameer
    Apr 7, 2018 - 1:14AM

    So bitcoin ends in Pakistan. What a country…amnesty to the looters; punishment to the honest investors.Recommend

  • Lilly
    Apr 7, 2018 - 1:24AM

    Who cares?Recommend

  • AHS
    Apr 7, 2018 - 2:00AM

    I remember once upon a time the backward Ignorant State institutions had banned FAX machine I know so since I purchased one from Japan and brought it to Karachi and it was confiscated until I paid off Rs 1500 at that time and was able to bring it in the country
    Cyrpto Currencies are the future like credit cards atm machines and debit cards. Pakistan does not have the resources to stop them even the US and Japan are trying to regulate them but not ban them ! Recommend

  • Bitcoin Lover
    Apr 7, 2018 - 5:28AM

    The tyranny starts!Recommend

  • Brasch Rehman
    Apr 8, 2018 - 10:54PM

    Guys, I am happy that the prices go up, I was a hodler bought @0.4 cents for 10k euro. It went up to 0.22 and I had about 50k plus. I kept telling myself to hodl… Then I looked at my portfolio saw i had only 7k left.. I felt bad not selling.. Because I see all these Wales now 1 million trx and stuff.. I just wanted to say that sometimes hodling is not the best option. And you should consider freezing your money just to take a few days of time to think.. It’s a little digital game but it can have great affects on your life.. Afterwords it reminded me of gambling. So I just have 3 advice. Never put in more than your willing to lose. When reaching a real big gain put 20 procent in your fiat to buy when low or live of in bad time. And last but not least don’t see this as a game. Cause it can crack your reality and make you see it very unrealistic. Contact me here on my facebook by addling me or message me on my whatsApp +923469272481 if interested to you to be future leader in cyptocurrecy. All the best guys may 2018 be great xxRecommend

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