Pakistan High Court approves committee to weigh on crypto legality

The Sindh High Court has approved a committee to review whether the use of cryptocurrencies is applicable under Pakistan’s legal system. The court established the commission under the direction of the deputy governor of the State Bank of Pakistan.

What are the new cryptocurrency developments in Pakistan?

According to The News International, the High Court of Sindh, which is the top judicial body in Sindh, has granted permission to the committee to weigh in on crypto trading under Pakistan law. The commission will then report its verdict to the Ministry of Finance.

According to the report, the committee is chaired by the State Bank of Pakistan’s deputy governor, along with officials from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, Security and Exchange Commission, and Ministries of Finance, Information Technology. 

If the committee approves crypto trading, they’ll also need to submit a draft framework for crypto regulation, subject to modification.

However, the court also clarified that determining whether to allow any type of cryptocurrency business shall be a federal government policy decision.

Furthermore, it also ordered that the committee meetings, their minutes, and all documents will remain confidential. Therefore, committee members shall not give any press release announcement or have social media or any other disclosure about the details.

The initial report about the feasibility of cryptocurrency will be submitted by December 1.

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Why is Pakistan taking this direction?

The SHC decision came from a petition against limitations on trading digital currencies in Pakistan. Additionally, crypto trading is already happening underground. Therefore, the court wants to regulate the industry to avoid terrorist financing, money laundering, and other illegal activities. 

The current cryptocurrency regulations in Pakistan

In the meantime, the court also directed the Federal Investigation Agency to follow the law and be strict against people who want to conduct cryptocurrency business. 

While cryptocurrency trading isn’t outright illegal in the country, the SBP regulations introduced in 2018 placed a ban on firms dealing in crypto. In 2019, the federal government of Pakistan introduced stronger regulations for the crypto industry, which mandated that all Electronic Money Institutions should be licensed before providing crypto assets.

Digital assets are gaining popularity and becoming a robust source of revenue. For instance, Bitcoin hit a new all-time high this week above $66,000. Because of this, governments worldwide are looking to take advantage of cryptocurrency by putting regulations in place.