Pakistan Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus said the Asian country could not legalize cryptocurrency trading, citing its recent removal from the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) “Grey List.”
In an appearance before the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, the minister noted that another reason the country could not legalize crypto was that it could be used for terror financing.
Pakistan was removed from the grey list in October 2022 after it was added in 2018. The minister noted that FATF imposed strict conditions for using cryptocurrencies before it was removed from the list.
The FATF’s controversial “travel rule” required countries to collect and share information on crypto transactions to curb money laundering and other illicit use.
Pakistan apex bank’s anti-crypto stand
Meanwhile, the minister’s statement echoes an earlier declaration by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) that said crypto was not a legal tender or backed by the government.
According to local media reports, SBP officials described cryptocurrencies as total fraud that would never be recognized in the country. They pointed to anti-crypto moves of major economies like the U.S., China, and Canada as why the country should make a similar move.
The Senate Standing Committee directed the SBP and the Ministry of IT & Telecom to work on banning cryptocurrency trading. This would mean the authorities would ban all cryptocurrencies-related websites and services.
The move continues the global regulatory crackdown on the cryptocurrency industry following the massive decline in its market cap and the fraudulent activities of some key participants.
Chainalysis ranked Pakistan among the top 10 countries with high crypto adoption in 2022.
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