KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has ordered the federal government to come up with modalities for cryptocurrency regulations.
The top provincial court ordered the federal government on Wednesday to regulate cryptocurrencies within three months and form a high-level committee headed by the federal finance secretary to look into the matter.
The court issued these directions while hearing a petition challenging the ban on cryptocurrencies.
Members of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the petitioners were present during the hearing.
The court also called for a report on the matter in three months, stating that steps should be taken to regulate cryptocurrencies in consultation with all stakeholders, including representatives of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), SBP, the Ministry of Law & Justice, and the Ministry of Information Technology.
The SHC’s instruction puts Sindh as the latest province to demand some form of recognition for cryptocurrencies in Pakistan.
Another case related to cryptocurrencies was heard at the Lahore High Court (LHC), with lawyers for the parties, including the SECP, SBP, FIA, and the federal government appearing in court. The court sought legal assistance from all the institutions on the matter and directed all the institutions to present legal points regarding the currency in the court after a meeting.
According to media reports, the SECP has been considering cryptocurrency regulations since November 2020. Combating money laundering and terrorism financing is reportedly at the heart of government consultation surrounding cryptocurrencies especially amid pressure from the Financial Action Task Force.
Meanwhile, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), like many other central banks across the world, is also studying central bank digital currencies.
In December 2020, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly called on the federal government to legalize crypto. At the time, the lawmakers pointed to the broad-based nature of digital currency adoption as an indication that cryptocurrencies were poised to replace fiat in the future. In March, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa announced plans to pilot crypto mining farms in the region.