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State Bank of Pakistan Maintains Firm Stance on Cryptocurrency Ban


The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has reiterated its unwavering position against the use and trading of cryptocurrencies in the country. In its Financial Stability Review, the SBP warned regulated entities to abstain from engaging in any activities related to virtual currencies or tokens, including processing, trading, holding, and promoting them.

The SBP clarified that it does not authorize or license any individual or entity for the issuance, sale, purchase, exchange, or investment in cryptocurrencies within Pakistan. It emphasized that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender and are not backed or guaranteed by the Government of Pakistan.

Despite the ban, some investors and traders have initiated legal battles to establish the legality of cryptocurrencies in Pakistan, challenging the SBP's decision.

However, the SBP maintains that global regulators have not yet reached a consensus on how to regulate cryptocurrencies effectively, necessitating further regulatory clarity.

The SBP highlighted several reasons for its strict stance, including the potential implications for monetary policy, foreign exchange regime and capital flight, financial stability, consumer protection, market volatility, and environmental concerns due to energy consumption and emissions associated with cryptocurrency operations.

While recognizing some potential benefits of cryptocurrencies, such as financial inclusion and cross-border payments, the SBP maintains that enabling pre-conditions, such as financial literacy, need to be met. The SBP acknowledges that strict bans may not be the optimal solution, and targeted restrictions could be considered based on domestic conditions and policy objectives.

It is worth noting that several countries, including China, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Turkey, and Indonesia, have also imposed bans or restrictions on cryptocurrencies. El Salvador stands as the only country recognizing cryptocurrency as legal tender.

The SBP's firm stance on the ban reflects its concerns regarding the impact of cryptocurrencies on monetary policy, financial stability, consumer protection, and the environment. As the global regulatory landscape continues to evolve, the issue of cryptocurrencies remains a complex one, requiring further attention and clarity.

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State Bank of Pakistan Maintains Firm Stance on Cryptocurrency Ban

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