Pakistan Moves to Legalize Bitcoin as Economy Tumbles – Decrypt

A State Assembly in Pakistan passed a resolution this week demanding laws for cryptocurrency ownership and Bitcoin mining, tweeted Zia Ullah Bangash, an advisor to the government, on Wednesday.

“We appeal the central government to carefully consider our proposal for legalizing cryptocurrency,” the resolution read.

The motion was passed by various advisors and ministers and addressed to the chief minister of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a mountainous region in northern Pakistan. It was signed unanimously, meaning the resolution was not met with any backlash or opposition from other parliament members.

Pakistan, home to 212 million people, grapples with a degrading economy and is perpetually on a “high alert” border situation with neighboring India. It faces “serious economic issues,” as per Middle Eastern policy think tank MEI, and has seen a decline in its economic output this year as per the World Bank.

But crypto offers a way out, at least according to some Pakistani ministers. They state the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region’s naturally cool environment, cheap power, and availability of manpower are the classic trifecta of all conditions required to profitably mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Miners also need ownership laws if they are to profit off their efforts. Currently, the ownership of Bitcoin is illegal in Pakistan and strict action has been taken in the past against those found guilty. Two individuals were even arrested earlier this year after they were found trading cryptocurrencies—setting a precedent for others who took part in crypto. But the resolution aims to change this. 

Meanwhile, some individuals are fighting for their rights and the crypto industry (and perhaps some nice profits). Waqar Zaka, a self-styled crypto influencer known in the country for his work in the sector, said today he installed a crypto mining farm in the country, ahead of a pending court case against him doing so.

Local publications have since heralded Zaka’s mining farm and his efforts in pushing for the resolution in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for jumpstarting the local economy. 

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