Crypto in Pakistan: Ban or Regulate? FATF Decision in Question

• The Pakistani government recently decided to outlaw the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.
• This move has been met with criticism from many in the crypto-community. They believe that instead of a blanket ban, there should be regulation and licensing.
• The decision is driven by FATF’s requirements which removed Pakistan from its grey list last year.

Cryptocurrency in Pakistan

Cryptocurrency in Pakistan is not a well-accepted asset class due to recent government rulings making it difficult for its adopters. Many were outraged and incensed following the decision to ban digital currencies, leading to challenges against the government’s action in court. Crypto Awaz questioned why lawmakers imposed a blanket ban rather than regulating it.

FATF Requirements

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is a global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog which removed Pakistan from its “increased monitoring” list after four years. The Pakistani government decided to outlaw cryptos as one of FATF’s requirements, backed up by officials from State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). SBP and the IT Ministry have started preparing legislation on this matter.

Criticism of Ban

The crypto-community in Pakistan are unhappy with this decision as they feel they are being denied access while other countries on the grey list such as UAE continue to grow as crypto-hub. Well-known YouTuber and crypto-influencer Waqar Zaka questioned why this was allowed for other countries but not for Pakistanis?

Fighting Back

Umair Orakzai, a crypto-influencer, has taken a stand against the ban by challenging it in court on behalf of all those who wish to use cutting edge technology and create a brighter future for their nation through cryptocurrency adoption.


It remains unclear how successful these efforts will be or if any changes will be made to existing laws regarding cryptocurrencies in Pakistan but it is clear that efforts have been made towards educating people about digital assets despite opposition from lawmakers.