After hearing and considering a petition challenging the long-imposed ban on cryptocurrencies in Pakistan, the Sindh High Court has finally ruled that the ban be lifted by the government and cryptocurrencies be accepted in the country.
Present at the hearing were members of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), as well as the petitioners.
To ensure that the order is rightfully carried out, the court instructed that a high-level committee that will look over the matter be formed. The committee is to be headed by the country’s federal secretary of finance.
The Pakistan government were further ordered to consult all of the country’s stakeholders, including members and representatives of the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the ministry of law, and the ministry of Information and Technology so that they would unitedly take the needed steps in regulating cryptocurrencies back to the nation within three months.
The Asian country is expected to submit a report back to the court after the three-month ultimatum has been completed.
Pakistan’s Long Drawn Battle With Digital Currencies
In 2018, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) declared cryptocurrency illegal and unacceptable in the country, issuing an advisory warning against all deals involving the use of any digital currencies. Commercial banks were also prohibited from offering crypto-related services to their customers.
The government however implemented some crypto-related regulations in 2019, as one of its steps in controlling financial crimes in the nation.
It was thought that the new laws were set in preparation for the cancelation of the crypto restriction. That was however not the case as citizens were still not allowed to use bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Interestingly, in September 2020, the SBP was sued in court by people who filed a petition challenging the crypto restriction and requesting that the ban be canceled.
Fortunately, the Sindh High Court (SHC) of Pakistan took the case up and the recent development – Pakistan lifting the ban and regulating cryptocurrencies back to the country in three months – is the court’s decision.