Pakistan is planning new digital currency regulations following the insistence of FAFTA

Pakistan implements new cryptocurrency rules in an effort to improve its financial crime record, Pakistani-language news broadcast The Express Tribune reported on April 1.

Pakistan, which is trying to reduce perceived levels of crime, such as money laundering and terrorist financing, will now introduce a licensing system for electronic money institutions. According to Pakistani news publisher Dunya News, cryptocurrency trading has been banned in the country since April last year.

"These regulations will help to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, while also helping to regulate digital currencies across the country," the Express Tribune quoted unnamed sources about the new initiative, the details of which are vague to be.

A ceremony regarding the introduction of the regulations will take place at the offices of the central bank of Pakistan, the State Bank of Pakistan, on Monday, attended by the federal finance minister Asad Umar and the bank's governor, Tariq Bajwa.

According to the sources, the move was in part a response to the demands of the international supervisory body, the Finance Action Task Force (FATF), which repeatedly raised concerns about the role of cryptocurrencies in terrorist financing.

In February, the FATF also noted that Pakistan had made insufficient progress with an action plan to combat the phenomenon in general.

"Given the limited progress on points of the action plan …, the FATF is urging Pakistan to rapidly complete its action plan, in particular those with May 2019 timelines," Reuters quoted a statement as saying.

Last week Pakistan's financial regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SECP), announced it was taking action against nine companies accused of using cryptocurrency as part of illegal operations.

"Such schemes, which offer substantial profits and incentives, can rob the unsuspecting public of their hard-earned money that falls prey to the inducements," said an accompanying statement. It went on:

"Furthermore, it is clarified that mere registration of a company with SECP does not mean that it can become involved in unauthorized and unlawful activities."

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