Pakistani High court orders state to regulate cryptocurrency in three months
Pakistan’s High Court of Sindh (SHC), the highest judicial authority in the country’s Sindh Province, has reportedly asked the government to discuss modalities for cryptocurrency regulation.
Accordion to The Express Tribune, a Pakistani English daily, the SHC has issued the instruction during a petition hearing before the court challenging the legality of the 2018 crypto ban.
The SHC has instructed financial regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the national central bank to coordinate with government agencies, including Ministries of Information Technology and Law, for developing a framework of crypto regulations within a period of three months.
As part of the petition’s proceedings, the SHC has also requested that a report be prepared and submitted on the steps taken for regulating cryptocurrencies within the three months.
The SECP has been considering cryptocurrency regulations since November 2020.
Amid pressure from the Financial Action Task Force, the country’s government consultation council is currently focused on combating terrorism financing and money laundering surrounding cryptocurrencies usage.
The new instruction from SHC has put Sindh among the latest Pakistani province to demand recognition of cryptocurrencies in the country.
Back in December 2020, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province assembly had also called on the federal government to legalize cryptocurrencies. At that time, the state lawmakers had pointed to the “broad-based” nature of digital wallets adoption and stressed that crypto was poised to replace fiat in the near future.
In March 2021, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa finally announced a pilot project to kickstart crypto mining farms in the region.
Simultaneously, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is following suit with several other central banks across the world, in studying central bank digital currencies.