In a historic achievement, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has directed to establish a cryptocurrency mining plant in the province and has approved funds to do so. Zia Ullah Bangash, the advisor to the Chief Minister on Science and Technology, has informed that the KP government will initiate the process of providing NOCs to anyone including businesses and individuals who wish to mine cryptocurrencies in the aforementioned plant.
In December 2020, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly unanimously passed a resolution legalizing crypto mining and currency. Dr. Sumera Shams, member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa announced the news on Twitter. “Indeed Pakistan progressing towards digitalization to compete with the world.”
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Assembly anonymously passed my resolution on #Cryptocurrency & #Cryptomining. Indeed #Pakistan progressing towards digitalisation to compete the world. Kudos to @ZiaBangashPTI & @fawadchaudhry for their hard work and dedication in the field. https://t.co/id2LUnnGBo pic.twitter.com/TbQvYDsMEl— Dr Sumera shams (@SumeraShams) December 2, 2020
The draft of the resolution was shared by Zia Bangash on Twitter, he requested the assembly to “ratify the resolution so that Pakkisan stays with the advancement in digital technology in the world.”
“The federal government should also formulate a set of laws to regulate cryptocurrency and crypto mining in Pakistan, especially in KP,” the draft stated.
As the world is advancing, there is a growing realization and probability that virtual currencies would replace currency on paper. However, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) does not recognize any virtual currencies as legal.
An official public notice issued by Mr. Abid Qamar, Director of External Relations department of SBP states, “General Public is advised that Virtual Currencies/Coins/Tokens (like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Pakcoin, OneCoin, DasCoin, Pay Diamond, etc.) are neither recognized as a Legal Tender nor has SBP authorized or licensed any individual or entity for the issuance, sale, purchase, exchange or investment in any such Virtual Currencies/Coins/Tokens in Pakistan.”
“Virtual Currencies/Coins/Tokens provide a high degree of anonymity and potentially can be used for facilitating illegal activities,” it added.
Waqar Zaka has been in the news for being a strong voice for legalizing cryptocurrency in Pakistan, as he believes this is a great opportunity for Pakistan. He had filed a petition in the Sindh High Court (SHC) to legalize cryptocurrency. The SBP asked the government, FIA Cyber Crime wing, and the Finance Minister to reply to the aforementioned petition by 17th December 2020. Failure to reply in time would legalize cryptocurrency in Pakistan.
Waqar Zaka claimed that the FIA Cyber Crime wing, based on false claims that the SBP deems cryptocurrency illegal, arrests crypto miners, confiscating bitcoins that are worth millions, and files baseless FIRs.
Sooner or later, cryptocurrencies would become the new norm in financial industries as several countries are legalizing and adopting them as the world advances further into digitalization. The decision by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government is a step closer to keeping up with the world.