Bank Alfalah Limited (BAFL) has begun sending SMS alerts to its customers, warning them against using its financial channels to conduct cryptocurrency transactions.
All virtual assets/cryptocurrencies, according to the bank, are illegal, and its customers should avoid conducting such transactions through any of its channels.
“Dear Customer, Virtual Currencies/Coins/Tokens, etc. are not legal tender, issued or guaranteed by the Govt of Pakistan and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has not authorized or licensed any individual or entity for the same. Kindly avoid conducting such transactions from any channel pertaining to Bank Alfalah,” reads the text message.
This comes just a day after the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) presented a report to a panel of the Sindh High Court (SHC) in which it said unambiguously that cryptocurrencies are illegal and cannot be exchanged.
Following a review of the report, a SHC panel directed the Law and Finance Ministries to conduct a joint study of cryptocurrencies and submit a comprehensive report by April 12 on whether the financial instrument should be outright banned or allowed to function as a true store of value under a legal framework that is acceptable.
The world of cryptocurrencies has been rocked by a number of regulatory twisters in Pakistan in the last few weeks, as local authorities appear to be intensifying their attack on illicit financial sources.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) sent a notification to Binance over a week ago in connection with a mega-scam involving 11 Binance-linked applications, in which fraudsters stole more than $100 million (Rs. 17.68 billion) from Pakistani investors.
Two weeks prior, the government watchdog confiscated the bank accounts of 1,064 people who had made 2,923 transactions totalling Rs. 51 million through a variety of online cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance, Coinbase, and Coinmama.
Multiple banks have blocked credit cards linked to bank accounts that have signs of cryptocurrency transactions, according to sources told TechX Pakistan. Individuals who had been using Binance P2P to buy or sell cryptocurrency had their bank accounts suspended as well.
To read our blog on Pakistan’s government has decided to ban all cryptocurrencies, click here.