On April 6, 2018, Muhammad Akhtar Javed, director of the State Bank of Pakistan, has published a Banking Policy and Regulations Department circular entitled "Prohibition of Dealing in Virtual Currencies/Tokens." It was stated in a circular that Virtual Currencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Pakcoin, OneCoin, DasCoin, Pay Diamond etc. or Initial Coin Offerings tokens are not legal tender, issued or guaranteed by the Government of Pakistan. SBP has not authorized or licensed any individual or entity for the issuance, sale, purchase, exchange or investment in any such Virtual Currencies/Coins/Tokens in Pakistan.
In view of the foregoing, all Banks/ DFIs/ Microfinance Banks and Payment System Operators (PSOs)/Payment Service Providers (PSPs) are advised to refrain from processing, using, trading, holding, transferring value, promoting and investing in Virtual Currencies/Tokens.
Muhammad Akhtar Javed
Director, State Bank of Pakistan
Following the announcement, the cryptocurrency exchange Urdubit, headquatered in Pakistan, has published a notice stating that it is shutting down. The exchange recommended the users to buy BTC instantly and withdraw PKR immediately as the exchange was cancelling orders on order book.
On April 8 the exchange has written in its Twitter account that Urdubit is closed. All Bitcoin withdrawals were closed on April 8 at midnight. It asked the users to withdraw the funds, and if they didn't, Urdubit stated that it will not be held liable for it.