Pakistan Among Top 3 Countries For Cryptocurrency Adoption? – Tech Tribune France

LAHORE: Out of 154 countries, Pakistan ranks among the top three countries in the world for cryptocurrency adoption in Central and South Asia, with up to two million people directly associated with this activity.

“According to estimates based on crypto trading platform traffic from Pakistan and industry conversation numbers, there are around 0.5 million online traders and 1.5 app traders (mobile), while the potential future market size is expected to reach 10 million merchants by the end of 2025,” RAIN Pakistan Managing Director Zeeshan Ahmed said during a media roundtable here recently. .

RAIN is the first licensed crypto-asset company in the Middle East and one of the major international players in the field.


According to Zeeshan, around 55% of the total crypto demand comes from Punjab alone, while the country ranks eighth in terms of P2P (person-to-person) trading volume in the world. According to a Chainalysis report, Pakistan received $18.6 billion between July 20 and June 21 last year, mostly through unofficial channels, he added.

According to the report, Pakistan received $74.4 million through illegal channels and much of this sum was received in the form of child pornography material scams, darknet market, stolen funds, fraud store and ransomware, he pointed out.

“Legalize Crypto Trading to Bring in Rs 20 Billion in Taxes”

“At present, Pakistan is in dire need of foreign exchange reserves but is still losing billions of dollars due to the lack of a regulated regime and legal framework,” he said. , adding that the sooner this activity is regulated, the better it would be for the country and investors. because no government can stop crypto in the future.

Considering the inevitable future of crypto, he said that even in India, the formulation of regulations has been started and crypto exchange companies are getting registered with a tax collecting authority. He said that India imposed a 31% capital gains tax on income generated from crypto.

On a question, Zeeshan said the lack of awareness and capacity building of government officials is apparently one of the main obstacles to regulating this sector. On another question, RAIN’s Senior Marketing Manager, Shahryar Khalid said that almost all mobile apps currently operating in Pakistan offer a P2P platform to its customers, instead of offering the purchase of coins from of the application, due to which frauds occur as seen in the recent past.

Talking about Pakistan’s crypto landscape, he said about two million people have expressed interest or liked Facebook pages related to Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, Ethereum and digital currencies.

Additionally, two million Google searches per month from Pakistan are related to cryptocurrencies.

“Most of the queries were related to global crypto brands, information-specific queries, trading platform queries, and stock-specific queries,” he gloated.

Speaking on the sidelines of the discussion, RAIN’s Director of Public Policy, Aatiqa Lateef, said they were in talks with relevant stakeholders including the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA). , Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Division of Finance to formulate a federal legal framework consistent with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidelines to regulate the digital space and prevent potential fraud and money laundering .

To a question, she said the legal status of cryptocurrency and crypto assets in Pakistan is still “vague” as a panel, formed by the Sindh High Court (SHC) earlier this year, had proposed a ban. full list of these types of assets and currencies. .

“However, in March we met with all stakeholders, who unanimously decided, in principle, to develop a legal framework in this regard after ‘due diligence’,” she said. , adding that the role of the SBP seemed quite serious compared to other stakeholders.

Asked about the legal status of some popular mobile apps currently running in Pakistan, she said that all crypto-related apps were “unregulated” and when they wrote to the government after some alleged fraud were reported by the media, the relevant agencies began arresting citizens. instead of closing apps.

Responding to another question, she said banks are often reluctant to engage with crypto platforms on AML/CFT issues and for fear of backlash from regulators.

According to her, governments could allay these concerns through a robust AML/CFT framework that meets FATF requirements and through circulars and letters of no objection outlining the licensing status of crypto exchanges.

“Partnerships between banks and crypto exchanges can speed up money transfer processes, build investor confidence, attract investment, and tap into a broader customer base. With a robust crypto regulatory regime, banking support for duly licensed crypto entities is beneficial to both parties and conducive to the growth of the financial services industry,” she suggested.

She added that limitations on the types of crypto assets exchanges are allowed to manage are foreign when enough information is disclosed about these cryptocurrencies and due diligence has been performed to verify the legitimacy of offers on the basis of the FATF guidelines regarding knowing your transactions. (KYT) and AML/CFT standards.

“The mechanisms of the exchange company can guarantee all account withdrawals from the exchange which are limited to those initially deposited from Pakistani bank accounts in PKR,” she said, adding that each transaction entering and leaving the country in the form of crypto transfers can also be tracked, and the exchange maintains full oversight of all movement of funds.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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Pakistan Among Top 3 Countries For Cryptocurrency Adoption? – Tech Tribune France

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