At the recently held Karachi literature festival, the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan was quite vocal about the potential misuse of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. His prime concern was the lack of visibility in transactions. He went on to emphasize, that it is not in Pakistan’s interest to regulate cryptocurrencies. According to him, crypto could facilitate several illicit activities such as money laundering, funding terrorism and human trafficking.
He went on to explain that it is the job of regulators in the country to weigh in the pros and cons of ensuring that a balance be achieved. The Central Bank Governor is aware that there is a demand in the country, to allow the use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Furthermore, there is also a requirement among the populace for trading in these, and needs to send these overseas. His opinion is that cryptocurrency risks outweigh the benefits on offer. However, he does believe that blockchain applications can be effectively leveraged to solve global issues and are beneficial to society at large.
A senior ministerial committee was formed to give its recommendation on regularization of cryptocurrencies. In January 2022, the committee submitted its report to a High Court in Sindh in which it recommended a complete ban of cryptocurrency use in Pakistan. However, the Science and Technology Minister of Pakistan went on to state that Pakistan was looking to regularize cryptocurrencies. This took place in the very month that the Governor made his statements. Currently, the Finance Ministry, along with the State Bank of Pakistan and Securities and Exchange Commission, are looking into the matter.