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One of Pakistan’s four provinces urges federal gov’t to legalize crypto

The assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a province in northwestern Pakistan, has become the first legislative assembly to call for changes in the country’s stance towards cryptocurrencies.

As previously reported, Pakistan has to date been relatively slow to introduce new frameworks for digital assets and cryptocurrencies. This week’s resolution to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly was reportedly introduced on Dec. 2 by Dr. Sumera Shams, a member of the provincial assembly and the centrist political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or PTI.

Fellow PTI member Zia Ullah Bangash, who is also Advisor to the Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Science and Technology and Information Technology, summed up the resolution as a demand that the federal government “take action to legalize cryptocurrency and cryptomining in Pakistan.” The bill was reportedly passed unanimously.

Waqar Zaka, chairman of the Technology Movement Pakistan, social media activist and self-described cryptocurrency influencer, was optimistic about the news, tweeting “one province done, three more to go.”

According to local media, the draft resolution stated that current trends indicate that digital currencies are likely to replace paper currencies in the future.

In November, Cointelegraph reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, or SECP, had published a consultation paper on regulating digital assets. The paper examined the regulatory frameworks that have already been developed in jurisdictions across the globe, and characterized digital assets as “the start of a new era of finance.” 

While the SECP focused on assets such as security and utility tokens, and privately issued currencies in general, Pakistan’s central bank has also previously announced its intention to issue a central bank digital currency by 2025.

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