To Ban Crypto or Not: Pakistan Forms Committees to Decide

    • Pakistan has created three committees to decide on crypto legality.
    • The committees will review all areas of cryptocurrency and make a decision.
    • Pakistan generally holds an anti-crypto stand despite the amount of crypto activity.

On Tuesday, the Pakistan government announced that it has officially formed three committees to decide on whether to legalize crypto or not. The committees will review all areas of cryptocurrency and assemble recommendations on the country’s crypto policy.

These committees were formed during a meeting chaired by Finance Secretary Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh. The meeting was conducted to decide whether to legalize or ban cryptocurrency.

The first sub-committee will reportedly be under the chairmanship of the Pakistani law secretary. Members of this sub-committee include the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

The other two sub-committees are informed to be under the chairmanship of SBP Deputy Governor Saima Kamal. Members include representatives of the Ministry of Information Technology, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, and the PTA.

Earlier this year, the governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Reza Baqir, expressed his concerns over crypto and said:

“Every new thing has some benefits and some risks. It’s a policymaker’s job to make an assessment of the balance, in particular, make a judgment whether the benefits outweigh the risks with regards to the use of cryptocurrencies in Pakistan. “

Baqir mentioned that the cryptocurrency was being used currently for nefarious purposes such as trafficking, money laundering, and financing of terrorism. Notably, he also added that the potential risks that are associated with cryptocurrencies “far outweigh the benefits.”

Cryptocurrency mining was flourishing in Pakistan until April 2018 when the government banned trading and mining. However, there is still a growing mining industry despite the fact that many mining farms have been shut down since this ban was implemented.

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