The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has formed a cryptocurrencies committee that will decide whether to block crypto websites.
According to well-informed sources from the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoITT), the concerned department cannot provide advice on how to block cryptocurrency websites. Citing the ministry officials, they explained that the central bank had already sent a letter to the commercial banks, asking them to stop trading cryptocurrencies. “The websites cannot be blocked based on that letter because they are not licensed by the state bank,” she added.
Sources said the SBP committee, headed by Deputy Governor SBP, had representatives from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), MoITT and the Ministry of Commerce. The issue of cryptocurrency websites is likely to be brought before this committee and the committee will decide the fate of these websites in due course, she added.
It is pertinent to mention here that a few days ago the Cyber Crime Wing of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) sent a list of about 1,600 cryptocurrency websites to PTA for blocking. PTA had written to MoITT asking for its guidance regarding the future of these websites. According to the telecom regulator, it is not allowed to block websites at the request of the FIA.
PTA has also written a letter to the FIA to identify any laws/rulebooks under which these websites may be blocked. According to the regulator, the legal reference presented by the FIA is very weak in this regard.
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