Pakistan Central Bank Eyes Digital Currency Launch by 2025

The State Bank of Pakistan, the country’s central bank, is reportedly considering launching a digital currency as part of a modernization drive.

AccessTimeIconApr 2, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 9:02 a.m. UTC
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The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the country’s central bank, is considering the launch of a digital currency by 2025.

According to a report from news source Dawn on Tuesday, SBP deputy governor Jameel Ahmad said that the central bank is currently working on the digital currency concept in order to “promote financial inclusion and reduce inefficiency and corruption.”

The central bank is also reportedly planning to make its services “fully digitized and technology equipped” by the year 2030.

In light of the proposed digitization efforts, Pakistan’s finance minister Asad Umar asked the central bank and the country's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to ensure cybersecurity in the banking system, the report adds, as a failure here could cause damage to confidence in the system and the economy.

Just yesterday, the SBP also published new regulations for Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs), a classification that covers cryptocurrency firms. As per the new rules, EMIs must meet certain requirements to be licensed by the country’s government, with firms flouting the rules to face suspension or cancellation of licenses.

The officials made their comments at a ceremony to mark the launch of the new regulations on Monday.

With the regulations in place, the central bank said in a statement that it expects upcoming EMIs to offer “convenient, cost effective, interoperable and secure digital payment products and services to end users.”

The finance minister said in the Tuesday's report:

“It is our government’s policy to encourage the use of e-commerce amongst [the] public through awareness campaigns to promote a culture of e-commerce, which supports electronic business transactions at national, regional and international levels.”

State Bank of Pakistan image via Shutterstock

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