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Is Pakistan launching its own cryptocurrency?

The central bank of Pakistan is making progress in the field of digital banking and plans to launch a digital currency that is comparable to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin soon.

According to Shoukat Bizinjo, Additional Director of the Digital Financial Services Group at the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), many central banks around the world, including Pakistan’s, are looking into the idea of CBBCs (callable bull/bear contracts) as a potential route for launching digital currencies.

“Pakistan’s central bank is currently reviewing and consulting with other central banks regarding CBBCs and digital currency,” Bizinjo stated during the 16th International Conference on Mobile Commerce 2023, organised by Total Communications.

According to a news release from TC, CBBCs are structured investment products that mirror the performance of underlying assets without requiring investors to pay the entire cost of ownership of those assets.

Bizinjo also disclosed that the SBP is in talks with regional business leaders to launch digital money in Pakistan.

He also emphasised the development made in the area of e-banking by Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs). Along with other digital payment tools like prepaid cards and contactless payment choices, EMIs have effectively introduced e-money wallets for customers and businesses.

Currently, NayaPak, Finja, CMPECC, and Sada Tech Pakistan are the four active commercial EMIs in Pakistan. As of March 31, 2023, EMIs were in charge of 2.4 million payment cards and an impressive e-money balance of Rs 2 billion, he said.

There are approximately 12 EMIs in various stages of acquiring licenses from the central bank, with numerous other companies in constant communication with the SBP to become EMIs, he said.


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