The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has seized bank accounts of 1,064 for trading cryptocurrencies on a month-old request received through the Cyber Crime Reporting Center (CCRC) in Islamabad.
According to ProPakistani, a regular inquiry had been registered under RE-955/2021 on 27 September 2021 against the profiles of 1,064 individuals who had carried out 2,923 transactions worth a whopping Rs. 51 million through numerous online exchanges, including Binance, Coinbase, and Coinmama.
Sources said that credit cards associated with bank accounts, which had traces of transactions in cryptocurrencies, were blocked by multiple banks. Moreover, the bank accounts of individuals who had been using Binance P2P to buy or sell cryptocurrencies were also frozen.
FIA has already been investigating the aforesaid instances of digital transactions for months, a strong indication of just how stringent the federal watchdog’s policies have become, as the country gradually comes to grips with the possibility of safekeeping fiat cash by exchanging it with cryptocurrencies.
It is pertinent to note that in principle, the sale and purchase of virtual assets are prohibited under the State Bank of Pakistan’s Circular No. 3 of the Banking Policy and Regulation Department (BPRD) dated 6 April 2018.
In light of these revelations, anyone who goes through Pakistani banks or credit cards for trading cryptocurrencies, their account may get suspended for an indefinite period of time.
Historically, despite the fact that the problem of regulating digital currencies is still unaddressed in Pakistan, the country is among the top 15 in the world for digital currency adoption as of July 2021.
According to Chainalysis, Pakistan received more than USD 1.5 billion in crypto-cash last year, with many analysts predicting that it might have been much higher in 2020-2021 if crypto transactions were facilitated and regulated.