Crypto in Pakistan: Ban or Not to Ban, That is the FATF Question

• The Pakistani government recently decided to outlaw cryptocurrencies, leaving the nation’s expanding crypto-community in a quandary.
• This decision was made due to the requirement of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which removed Pakistan from its grey list last year.
• However, many among Pakistan’s crypto-community are not convinced and have questioned why other countries on the grey list are allowed to use cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency Ban in Pakistan

The Pakistani government recently shocked its cryptocurrency community by announcing their decision to ban the use of digital currencies in the country. This announcement came after Pakistan was removed from FATF’s ‚Grey List‘. Despite this, many members of Pakistan’s crypto-community remain unconvinced and have questioned why other countries on the same list are allowed to use cryptocurrencies.

Financial Action Task Force

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an international organization that works against money laundering and terrorist financing across the world. After four years of being under increased monitoring, FATF removed Pakistan from their Grey List last year; one of their requirements for doing so was for Pakistan to ban cryptocurrency trading within their borders. In response, officials from State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and IT Ministry have started preparing legislation for this purpose.

Crypto Community Reaction

Not everyone is happy with this decision; Umair Orakzai – a crypto-influencer – has challenged it in court and called upon his fellow citizens to come together to fight for their right to access cutting-edge technologies. Crypto Awaz also asked lawmakers about why they chose a blanket ban instead of regulating it like other countries do. Other influencers such as Waqar Zaka asked why other nations on FATFs grey list – such as UAE – can grow as a hub for crypto while Pakistan cannot even access it freely anymore.


It remains unclear how successful those challenging this decision will be or if FATF will make any exceptions regarding its requirements but at present, it looks like cryptocurrency trading will remain banned in Pakistan until further notice or until some new legislation regarding its usage is passed by Parliament.

Takeaway Message

Pakistan’s recent announcement serves as an important reminder that despite all the hype around cryptocurrencies, governments still have control over how they are used within their borders and can impose regulations or bans when necessary; something that could potentially lead to serious consequences if ignored by investors looking into digital assets.

Crypto in Pakistan: Ban or Not to Ban, That is the FATF Question
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