Afghan Authorities Shut Down 16 Crypto Exchanges in One Week: Report

Police reportedly closed the exchanges and arrested their staff after Afghanistan's central bank stated that digital currency trading should be stopped, citing problems and scams.

AccessTimeIconAug 25, 2022 at 11:58 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:58 p.m. UTC

The Afghanistan police force shut down 16 cryptocurrency exchanges in the country's western Herat province over the past week, independent local media outlet Ariana News reported on Wednesday.

  • Law enforcement closed down the platforms and arrested their staff. This move came after the country's central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank, stated in a letter that digital currency trading had caused "lots of problems and is scamming people," Sayed Shah Sa’adat, head of the counter-crime unit of Herat police, told Ariana News.
  • The article quoted the Herat Money Exchangers' Union and local residents who are in favor of the government monitoring digital currency trading as it was something new and unfamiliar to people.
  • Earlier this year, multiple reports suggested demand for cryptocurrencies in the country were on the rise, as residents looked for ways to sidestep heavy U.S. sanctions and safeguard their savings in a collapsing economy following the Taliban takeover.
  • In June, the Taliban declared all foreign exchange trading is prohibited in the country, putting further pressure on the local economy.


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Sandali Handagama is a CoinDesk reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She does not own any crypto.

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