Pakistani Banks Barred from Cryptocurrency and ICO Trading

Pakistan’s national bank issued an announcement barring monetary organizations in the country from working with digital money firms, the latest establishment of its kind to bar dealings in currencies.

In an announcement notification on its site, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) stated:

“…all Banks/DFIs/Microfinance Banks and Payment System Operators (PSOs)/Payment Service Providers (PSPs) are encouraged to cease from preparing, utilizing, exchanging, holding, exchanging esteem, advancing and putting resources into Virtual Currencies/Tokens. Further, banks/DFIs/Microfinance Banks and PSOs/PSPs won’t encourage their clients/account holders to execute in VCs/ICO Tokens. Any exchange in such manner should promptly be accounted for to Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) as a suspicious exchange.”

The national bank did not react to a request for answers behind its pronouncements. In any case, as of press time, the sudden declaration is affecting the digital money market in the country.

Urdubit, a digital currency trader that initially took off in 2014 said in the wake of the announcement that it will close down. Urdubit was the principal Bitcoin trading platform in Pakistan.

The decision was reportedly announced by means of Facebook post in which the startup encouraged its clients to “please pull back your assets as quickly as time permits.”

Urdubit’s Facebook page included a link to the correspondence from the national bank, which referred to cryptocurrency exchanges in a suspicious light.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Rodrigo Souza, the prime supporter of BlinkTrade (which gave the open-source programming that Urdubit was using) contended that the national bank’s move is out to put the brakes on cryptocurrencies.

The Pakistani move comes a day after India’s national bank blocked banks from dealing in digital currency trades. However, as CoinDesk reports, trades in that nation are looking into taking legal action that could see the debate settled by India’s highest court.


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