Pakistan’s Sindh High Court has directed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government to expedite the regulation of cryptocurrencies. Pakistan’s ruling government has been given a three-month deadline to submit the proposed regulatory rules. To expedite the pace of this work, a new committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of Kamran Ali Afzal, Federal Finance Secretary of Pakistan. The court has advised the government to invite suggestions from all stakeholders as well as government officials and ministries.
The court’s direction to the Pakistani government comes after two judges heard a petition challenging the ban on cryptocurrency. Along with the petitioners, whose details are unknown, officials from the country’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) also attended the hearing.
Pakistan’s central bank Reza Baqir said in April that authorities were studying ways to regulate cryptocurrencies and their ability to facilitate off-the-book transactions within the legal framework.
These crypto-pro-cryptocurrency moves being initiated by Pakistani authorities seem to come at a time when the crypto-culture is progressing in the country.
In the 12 months leading up to June 2021, the cryptocurrency market grew by 706 percent and reached a value of $572.5 billion (approximately Rs 42,62,844 crore) in the regions of Central and Southern Asia as well as Oceania (CSAO), a The report was recently claimed by research firm Chainalysis.
In Asia, Pakistan ranks third after Vietnam and India in terms of widespread crypto adoption. Furthermore, according to another report, Pakistan ranks 15th in the world in terms of cryptocurrency adoption.
Chainalysis report estimates that Pakistan received over $1.5 billion (about Rs 11,230 crore) in crypto-cash last year.
Discussions about the expansion of the crypto space in Pakistan are also beginning to intensify. For example, in a recent session of the National Assembly, politicians in Pakistan cited the example of India in breathing the crypto space and making profits in return.
“More than 56 million people are using cryptocurrencies in 2021. Our neighbor India has created four crypto exchanges, among which, the native token of WazirX has a market share of over $172 million (approximately Rs 1,287 crore) globally. A Pakistani politician recently told the assembly in Hindi.
#crypto currency discuss the issue officially #National Assembly of #Pakistan @ Maryam Ansharif Need your support now please raise your voice for this #regulation NS #crypto in Pakistan pic.twitter.com/MOTgQFxY1v
– Raja Haider Khan???? (@rajahydarkha10) October 20, 2021hh
Along with Pakistan, India is also working on ways to regulate decentralized currencies.
India awaits the outcome of an official draft cryptocurrency bill that will be introduced in the upcoming winter session of Parliament.
In September, a new committee was formed under India’s Ministry of Finance to find out whether income from crypto-trading could be taxed.
Amidst the growing crypto culture, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is ignoring the drafting of the cryptocurrency bill.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is also working on launching its official digital currency as a regulated “central bank digital currency (CBDC)” by the end of 2021.