Pakistani High Court Demands Central Bank to Lift Crypto Ban

In a Wednesday report, the Sindh High Court (SHC) of Pakistan took up a petition against the ban on the use of cryptocurrencies imposed by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on April 6, 2018.

On hearing the case, Justice Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro, who as the head of the bench, challenged the central bank for restricting the use of digital currencies in the country. He emphasized Pakistan is lagging behind in using modern technology unlike other countries around the world. 

Justice Kalhoro questioned  the SBP why cryptocurrencies are still outlawed in the country when they are being used globally. He recieved responses from the central bank’s lawyer, who pointed out that cryptocurrencies are not banned in the country, but they are yet to be regulated. 

This led to more questions from Justice Kalhoro who then asked why digital assets are yet to be regulated in Pakistan. 

“If using digital currency doesn’t constitute an unlawful act, why is it not being allowed?”

Justice Kalhoro further noted that authorities should place on record how other countries regulate cryptocurrencies. 

In 2018, the central bank issued an advisory warning against deals involving the use of virtual currency as it is not legal tender. Hence, prohiiting commercial banks from offering crypto-related services. 

A year after the SBP-imposed restriction, the country considered legalizing the use of cryptocurrencies when it promised to introduce a licensing scheme for Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs), which include cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, Coinfomania reported.

However, nothing has been done to reverse the illegal declarations on cryptocurrency since then. 

The move taken by the Pakistani high court of Sindh on this case appears to bring higher hopes for the legalization of digital currency in the country.

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