The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has requested that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) restrict access to more than 1,600 bitcoin trading websites in Pakistan. The discovery was corroborated by FIA Director Operations of the Cyber Crime Wing (CCW) in Lahore, Babar Bakht, who stated that bitcoin is being utilised for money laundering.
Bakht has claimed that a list of those involved in cryptocurrency trading is being compiled, and that these individuals would be detained because digital asset trading is illegal in Pakistan. “These individuals are on the radar of the agency, and action will be done against them shortly,” he continued. As a result, the FIA has requested that the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) shut 1,600 bitcoin websites in the country.
The news comes only days after the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Federal Government of Pakistan agreed to prohibit the usage of cryptocurrencies in the country. In addition, during a hearing on the usage of digital currencies in the nation, the Sindh High Court (SBP) received a report in this respect.
Meanwhile, Shibli Faraz, Minister of Science and Technology, stated on Wednesday that the Federal Government of Pakistan, led by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), aims to legalise cryptocurrencies in Pakistan. He made the remarks while speaking at the inaugural Pakistan Blockchain Summit 2022, which was hosted in Islamabad.
He further stated that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and Finance Division are already working on the plan, since blockchain is predicted to be a $20 billion business by 2024, with about 200 nations incorporating it into their systems.