Pakistan Passes Resolution Urging Government to Legalize Cryptocurrencies

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In Brief
  • The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly called on Pakistan's federal government to legalize cryptocurrencies.

  • A court hearing on a separate crypto request will be held on Dec 17.

  • In November, the federal government asked for input regarding crypto trading.

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The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations building standards of transparency.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly in Pakistan passed a resolution on legalizing digital assets and cryptocurrency mining on Dec 2.

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The measure calls upon Pakistan’s federal government to address the legal issues of cryptocurrency in the country.

A Tweet by Dr. Sumera Shams, author of the resolution, shows both photos of the voting and the draft of the resolution in the north-west Pakistani province:

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Pakistan Opens Up to Cryptocurrency

A Pakistani video jockey-turned-crypto evangelist named Waqar Zaka is leading the charge for legalizing cryptocurrency ownership in Pakistan.

On Dec 17, Zaka’s hearing regarding a petition on the legalization of cryptocurrencies will take place. The Sindh High Court requires the Pakistani federal government and relevant organizations to respond to the petition by that date, or the government will lose the case and cryptocurrencies will become legal in Pakistan.

The political pressure from the legislators in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as from celebrities is mounting.

In a Facebook post, media outlet Dekhlo highlighted Zaka’s drive to open Pakistan to crypto. It also quoted him as saying that Pakistan is not listed for digital services such as PayPal due to the lack of progress in its digital regulations.

‘Do Not Harm’ Approach

The Pakistani federal government might ignore the resolution from KP and put up a defense at the Dec. 17 hearing, but some headway is being made.

On Nov. 6, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan released a position paper on the regulation of digital asset trading platforms. 

The authors noted that there are a variety of approaches to regulating digital assets. The government will follow an approach “described by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as the ‘do-not-harm’ approach.”

The authors posit questions regarding trading, intermediaries, settlement, and risks, while also inviting input from the public.

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James Hydzik is a finance and technology writer and editor based in Kyiv, Ukraine. He is especially interested in the development of regulation in the face of increasingly rapid technological change. He previously covered the CEE region for Financial Times banking and FDI magazines. An ardent believer in gut renovating eastern Europe one flat at a time, he currently holds more home renovation gear than crypto.

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