Cryptocurrencies banned in Pakistan

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KARACHI: In a new development, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has banned cryptocurrencies in the country.

The booming industry that has had global investors at the edge of their seats since the last couple of years, and which was steadily gaining speed in the country at an individual level, especially amongst ‘guerilla investors’, has been disallowed by the SBP.

In a circular issued on its website, SBP has announced that virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Pakcoin, OneCoin, DasCoin, Pay Diamond or Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) tokens are not legal tender, issued or guaranteed by the Pakistan government.

“The SBP has not authorised or licensed any individual or entity for the issuance, sale, purchase, exchange or investment in any such virtual currencies/coins/tokens in Pakistan,” it said in the statement.

“All banks, development financial institutions, microfinance banks and payment system operators, payment service providers are advised to refrain from processing, using, trading, holding, transferring value, promoting and investing in virtual currencies/tokens.

“Further, they will not facilitate their customers/account holders to transact in VCs/ICO Tokens. Any transaction in this regard shall immediately be reported to the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) as a suspicious transaction,” added the SBP in the statement.