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Pakistan’s Crypto Ban: Evaluating the Economic Impact and Global Ramifications

Written by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman ·  3 min read >

Pakistan made headlines by announcing its intention to impose a ban on cryptocurrency trading and services in the country. The government cited the need to protect the financial system from the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. This article will delve into the potential implications of Pakistan’s crypto ban on its economy and the subsequent impact on the global cryptocurrency market. Furthermore, we will assess whether this move by the Pakistani government is a strategic decision or a potential misstep.

Pakistan’s decision to ban cryptocurrency activities is a response to the requirements set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. The country aims to maintain compliance with FATF regulations and avoid being placed on the organization’s “grey list” of countries subject to increased monitoring for deficiencies in countering illicit financial activities.

While the FATF does not explicitly mandate a ban on virtual assets, it expects countries to address money laundering and terrorist financing risks associated with the crypto sector. Pakistan perceives the ban as a necessary step to meet FATF’s requirements and safeguard its financial ecosystem. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has also expressed concerns about potential disruptions caused by cryptocurrency transactions to the country’s financial system, highlighting incidents such as Terra and FTX as examples of perceived dangers associated.

The impending crypto ban in Pakistan is expected to have significant economic implications for the country. While the ban aims to address concerns related to cryptocurrency scams, money laundering, and financial stability, it is essential to consider the potential negative consequences of such a decision.

One major concern is the potential surge in brain drain. Pakistan has witnessed a growing number of professionals and experts in the crypto industry and blockchain technology, who possess valuable skills and knowledge. If the ban is implemented, there may be an outflow of these talented individuals seeking more favorable regulatory environments elsewhere. This brain drain not only results in the loss of individuals but also hinders Pakistan’s technological advancement and stifles innovation and entrepreneurship.

The crypto ban could also impact remittance flows, which play a crucial role in supporting Pakistan’s economy and alleviating financial pressures for many households. Pakistan is among the top 10 countries worldwide in terms of remittances received, with an inflow of almost $30 billion in 2022 alone. Many individuals work remotely from Pakistan for international companies and receive their salaries in major currencies, contributing to the local economy. However, the ban may limit or halt such transactions, impeding the flow of remittances into the country and potentially straining foreign exchange reserves.

Pakistan’s decision to implement a ban on cryptocurrencies has the potential to create significant ripples in the global cryptocurrency markets. With over $8 billion worth of crypto estimated to be held in Pakistan-based wallets, the ban carries implications that extend beyond the country’s borders.

The immediate concern is the impact on market sentiment, potentially triggering fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) among investors and participants in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Such sentiments often lead to increased sell pressure, resulting in market volatility and downward price pressures for various cryptocurrencies.

Additionally, the ban may disrupt the flow of cryptocurrencies across international exchanges. As Pakistani traders and investors are restricted from participating in global crypto markets, reduced liquidity and trading volumes may affect price discovery and overall market efficiency.

While the crypto ban in Pakistan suggests a halt to crypto’s growth in the country, there are reports indicating a potential reconsideration of the government’s stance. It is speculated that the government might allow cryptocurrency trading while enforcing anti-money laundering regulations. This could provide a ray of hope for individuals interested in using cryptocurrencies for legitimate purposes in Pakistan.

 It is worth noting that despite the opposition to digital currencies, the Pakistani government still recognizes the potential of blockchain technology. President Dr. Arif Alvi has praised the benefits of blockchain and its ability to improve processes within the country. In fact, Pakistan has plans to launch its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) by 2025, with expectations that blockchain will underpin its implementation. Therefore, while the crypto ban may currently hinder the growth of cryptocurrencies, there is a possibility of regulatory adjustments in the future that foster innovation while addressing concerns. 

Furthermore, the global crypto market is evolving at a rapid pace, with various countries implementing their own regulations to strike a balance between innovation and investor protection. Pakistan’s ban on cryptocurrencies serves as a reminder of the complex challenges faced by regulators worldwide. It highlights the need for cohesive and well-thought-out regulatory frameworks that consider the unique characteristics of cryptocurrencies while fostering innovation and protecting investors.

In this dynamic landscape, it is essential for governments and regulatory bodies to engage in constructive dialogue with industry experts, blockchain developers, and crypto enthusiasts to better understand the potential benefits and risks associated with cryptocurrencies. Collaborative efforts can lead to the development of regulatory frameworks that address concerns related to money laundering, financial stability, and consumer protection without stifling technological innovation.

While the immediate impact of Pakistan’s crypto ban may raise questions about its potential negative consequences, it is important to view it as part of an ongoing global conversation surrounding cryptocurrencies. Governments and regulatory bodies worldwide are grappling with the need to adapt to the changing financial landscape while ensuring the safety and integrity of their financial systems. Pakistan’s decision, whether ultimately seen as a misstep or a strategic move, underscores the need for open-mindedness and a balanced approach in navigating the complexities of the crypto ecosystem.


Written by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman
Muneeb is a full-time News/Tech writer at He is a passionate follower of the IT progression of Pakistan and the world and wants to educate the people of Pakistan about tech affairs. His favorite part about being a tech writer is tech reviews and giving an honest and clear verdict to his readers. Contact Muneeb on his LinkedIn at: Profile