Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has decided against immediately blocking the cryptocurrency websites in Pakistan, and has sought official comments of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication on the matter.
Official sources told ProPakistani that PTA has decided against an earlier request made by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for immediately banning websites dealing with cryptocurrencies in the country. They added that PTA has sought an official comment in this regard from the IT & Telecom Ministry.
According to sources, FIA had identified 1,540 websites and requested PTA to block them, but the legal precedent for such a move is too weak to block the sites. They said all the websites can be blocked on the basis of the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) Circular No. 3 of the Banking Policy and Regulation Department (BPRD) dated April 6, 2018.
They maintained that before a mechanism is put in place cryptocurrencies websites will not be shut down in the country.
Regarding the immediate future of digital assets as a genuine store of value, sources said, consultation has been started with relevant agencies.
The world of cryptocurrencies has been rocked by a number of regulatory interventions in Pakistan in the last few months, as local authorities appear to be intensifying their crackdown on illicit sources of financing.
It is noteworthy that the central bank has been conducting internal studies on cryptocurrencies as part of its future monetary strategies in the country. However, despite hopes of a regulatory shift towards adopting digital assets as legal tender on April 12, the situation is now incredibly uncertain to determine whether or not the country will see digital assets regularized at all.