It has almost become the new normal for banks to take a rather aggressive stance toward cryptocurrencies. That will not surprise anyone, although it is quite rare to hear Pakistan’s State Bank weigh in on these discussions. Although it is just a warning for the time being, it is possible we may see an official ban imposed on cryptocurrency purchases in the near future.
Pakistan State Bank Isn’t Keen on Cryptocurrency
Most financial institutions around the world have taken a negative stance toward Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This is not entirely surprising, considering that this new form of money threatens the business models of existing financial institutions. To put this into perspective, a few US banks have made it clear they feel threatened by Bitcoin, and opposing this form of money seems to be the logical consequence.
The State Bank of Pakistan is the latest institution to issue a strong warning regarding cryptocurrencies. More specifically, they want to dissuade as many consumers as possible from buying Bitcoin and altcoins, even though they will not actually prevent people from doing so. That may change in the future, though, as it is not unlikely that Pakistan will ban cryptocurrency purchases in the future.
The warning itself makes it clear Bitcoin is not regulated in the country, nor is it considered legal tender. No one in the country is officially “authorized’ to deal with this form of money as of right now, although it is impossible for any government to make it impossible for people to purchase Bitcoin and altcoins.
As we’ve come to expect from warnings like this one, cryptocurrency is once again linked to “facilitating illegal activities”. It is certainly true that criminals have taken a liking to Bitcoin and other currencies, but there are a lot more legitimate use cases for this new form of money. In fact, its lack of privacy and anonymity makes Bitcoin far less suited for criminal activity compared to some alternative currencies.
One particular aspect of this warning which raises a lot of questions is the purported “involvement” of law enforcement agencies. Whether this means Pakistani officials want to crack down on Bitcoin use in a harsh manner remains to be seen. There appear to be some Bitcoin-related pyramid schemes active in the country as of right now, which will not surprise anyone at this point.
For the time being, the uneasy situation in Pakistan will not change in a definite manner. We have seen some warnings issued by other countries in this part of Asia, although it seems Bitcoin continues to thrive despite this clear opposition. A complete ban on cryptocurrency trading may yet come to pass in Pakistan, but for now, there is no indication things will get out of hand in the near future.