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The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) published a document stating that banks and payment providers should stay away from crypto currencies. This is a measure to further promote crypto regulation in Pakistan.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), on behalf of bank director Muhammad Akhtar Javed, published a circular declaring crypto currencies and digital tokens illegal. The circular is entitled “Prohibition of Dealing in Virtual Currencies/Tokens”. In German, this means: “Prohibition of trading in crypto currencies/ Tokens”. The circular states:

Virtual Currencies (VCs) like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Pakcoin, OneCoin, DasCoin, Pay Diamond etc. or Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) tokens are not legal tender, issued or guaranteed by the Government of Pakistan. SBP has not authorized or licensed any individual or entity for the issuance, sale, purchase, exchange or investment in any such Virtual Currencies/Coins/Tokens in Pakistan.

Virtual crypto currencies such as Bitcoin, Pakcoin, Litecoin, OneCoin, DasCoin or Pay Diamond or ICOs are not legal. They also have no legitimacy from the central bank or were initiated by it. Furthermore, the central bank has neither authorised nor licensed the issue, sale, purchase, trading or investment in crypto currencies and tokens.

As the Circular proceeds, banks, DFIs, microfinance banks, payment system operators and payment service providers will be instructed to cease any activities related to crypto currencies/token. Financial service providers in particular are urged not to continue to support the exchange of crypto currencies/ Tokens into Fiat currencies. Any transactions in crypto currencies are also considered suspicious and should be reported directly to the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU).

Stricter crypto regulation in Pakistan

There is a crypto currency in Pakistan that has been specially developed for Pakistanis. However, the Pakcoin is not an official state crypto currency. It is intended to make it easier for citizens to make uncomplicated payments at home and abroad. The reaction of the SBP followed shortly after the instruction of the RBI in India. It had prohibited financial institutions regulated by it from handling crypto currencies.

About Pakistan

Pakistan is a state in South Asia. It borders Iran, Afghanistan, China and India. In the south Pakistan shares the coast of the Arabian Sea, a side sea of the Indian Ocean. The state of Pakistan emerged in 1947 from the predominantly Muslim parts of British India, while the areas with a Hindu or other majority population and most of the predominantly Muslim Kashmir in present-day India were absorbed. In 1956, Pakistan proclaimed itself the world’s first Islamic Republic. The former part of Eastern Pakistan has been independent as Bangladesh since 1971.

Pakistan has a predominantly arid subtropical continental climate with considerable local and seasonal variations. In the lowlands, the mean temperatures of the coldest month of January fluctuate between 12 degrees Celsius in the north and 17 degrees Celsius in the south; only on the coast is the monthly mean also in winter around 20 degrees Celsius. In the summer months of May to September, with the exception of the higher altitudes, it becomes unbearably hot all over the country. The average temperatures then usually exceed 30°C. Occasionally, even maximum temperatures of up to 50 °C can occur in inland areas. The distribution of precipitation is also highly uneven. Generally, they decrease from north to south. Only the Himalayan foreland in the extreme north of the Punjab, where partly more than 1000 mm are measured in the year, receives productive rainfalls. Lahore receives only about 500 mm, the southern Punjab and the Sindh less than 200 mm. The precipitation falls almost exclusively during the short southwest monsoon in July and August, the rest of the year is dry.

Baluchistan is also extremely dry. In the western highlands, annual precipitation is less than 100 mm. In the winter there is often night frost, the average temperatures of January are only around 10 °C. In the summer, however, similarly high values are reached as in the Indus plain. Only in the higher altitudes is it correspondingly cooler, in the peripheral mountains between the plateau of Baluchistan and the Indus lowlands also somewhat more humid with 200 to 300 mm of rain per year. Baluchistan receives most of its sparse rainfall in winter. The summer monsoon brings only minimal rain to eastern Balochistan and no rain at all to the west of the region.

The high valleys in the extreme north of Pakistan differ greatly in climate from other parts of the country. Temperatures below zero are not uncommon in winter, even during the day. Although the summers are warm, the extreme heat of the lowland climates is missing. The annual rainfall amounts are highest in the Himalayas with partly over 1500 mm and decrease to the north and west.