Arif Alvi, currently serving as the president of Pakistan, called for additional training in emerging technologies including blockchain, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity while meeting with a delegation of blockchain technology experts.
In a Monday announcement, Alvi said Pakistan’s talent pool should be ready to meet the needs of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which includes utilizing blockchain technology in the public and private sectors. According to the Pakistan president, the technology could be used as a government tool to track transactions, reduce corruption and increase transparency. Among the panel of experts was Bitcoin SV advocate Jimmy Nguyen, founding president of the Bitcoin Association.
The meeting came shortly before the Pakistan president announced he would be appointing Noor Muhammad Dummar as the senior minister of finance for the country’s Balochistan province. Pakistan’s federal ministries of finance and law have not legislated on a potential blanket ban of cryptocurrencies in the country, but the State Bank of Pakistan has reportedly argued cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) are illegal and cannot be used for trading.
A report released by crypto analytics firm Chainalysis in October 2021 showed that Pakistan had the third-highest rate of crypto adoption behind Vietnam and India, with transfers of more than $10 million in the country representing 28% of transactions. The country’s central bank also said in 2021 it was studying the possible rollout of a Pakistan central bank digital currency.
However, some officials within Pakistan seem to associate digital assets with fraud following a multi-million dollar crypto scam in which investors were misled into sending funds from Binance wallets to unknown third-party wallets — some reports suggest investors lost as much as $100 million. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has also reportedly blocked websites that deal in cryptocurrencies in an effort to prevent fraud and money laundering.