According to reports, authorities in Pakistan are trying to confiscate hundreds of cards and bank accounts belonging to crypto traders. They were used, according to local media to conduct transactions in excess of $300,000 via major digital asset exchanges.
Pakistan government blocks cryptocurrency cards, media reveals
Bank accounts in the names of 1,064 individuals have been frozen by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). On Wednesday, Pakistan Observer reported that the law enforcement authorities acted at the request of the Cyber Crime Reporting Center CCRC in Islamabad.
Officials say the accounts were used to handle transactions totalling 51 million Pakistani Rupees (around $288,000), made by individuals to and from various crypto exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase.
It also stated that the agency had blocked residents’ credit cards from using them to purchase and sell digital currency. Residents were reminded that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), in accordance with its Banking Policy and Regulation Department, has prohibited cryptocurrency purchases and sales.
Cryptos, such as Bitcoin, are enjoying growing popularity in Pakistan despite being banned. A report published by the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, (FPCCI) estimates that Pakistanis have $20 billion in cryptocurrency.
At a press conference last week, FPCCI President Nasir Hayat Magoon noted that the quoted valuation of the digital currency owned by Pakistanis is based on research carried out by the association’s Policy Advisory Board. The true value of crypto assets may actually be higher than that, since many Pakistanis buy coins through peer-to-peer transactions which are not yet detected.
Magoon also urged the government to adopt a suitable policy to regulate and facilite crypto-related transaction, noting that India has taken measures to establish rules in the area. Magoon’s association calls for a legal framework that is consistent with guidelines from international organisations like the FATF and IMF.
Is it possible that Pakistanis would continue to invest cryptocurrency, despite restrictions in Islamabad by the authorities? Comment below to let us know your thoughts.
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