The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) plans to launch a digital currency in the future, after making progress in digital banking.
Shoukat Bizinjo, the Additional Director of the Central Bank’s Digital Financial Services Group, mentioned that many central banks, ”including Pakistan’s, are studying CBBCs (callable bull/bear contracts) to launch digital currencies in their countries”.
During the 16th international conference on Mobile Commerce 2023, Bizinjo stated that “Pakistan’s central bank is currently reviewing CBBCs and consulting with other central banks regarding the implementation of digital currency”.
Leveraged investments are used to track the performance of underlying assets without investors needing to pay the full price of owning the actual assets. Bizinjo mentioned that the SBP is also consulting with local industrial players to introduce digital currency.
He noted that Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) have made significant advancements in e-banking by introducing e-money wallets for consumers and merchants, as well as other digital payment methods like prepaid cards and contactless payment instruments.
As of March 31, 2023, there are four operational commercial EMIs in the country: NayaPak, Finja, CMPECC, and Sada Tech Pakistan. Together, these EMIs oversee an e-money balance of Rs2 billion and manage 1.6 million e-money wallets and 2.4 million payment cards.
Approximately 12 EMIs are in the process of obtaining licenses from the central bank, while numerous companies are engaged in ongoing discussions with the SBP to become EMIs.
Is digital currency legal in Pakistan?
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining were doing well in Pakistan until April 2018 when the government prohibited trading and mining of virtual currencies. Despite the ban leading to the closure of many mining farms, the mining industry is still growing.