Pakistan joins a list of countries including Iran in turning to Bitcoin mining as a source of income and for economic revival
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), one of Pakistan’s four provinces has announced the launch of two state-owned Bitcoin mining farms last week, according to a report by local news outlet BOLNews. The provincial government, in a first, has approved the use of state funds to mine and derive profit from Bitcoin. KP was also one of Pakistan’s first provinces to legalise crypto mining.
Ziaullah Bangash, the advisor to the chief minister of KP on Information Technology, explained that a legislative bill to approve such operation was passed by the province’s assembly along with a separate no objection certificate (NOC) allowing citizens to legally launch and issue digital currencies.
Muneeb Ali, the founder of Stacks, a decentralised network that brings apps and smart contracts to Bitcoin, lauded the move by stating that “The KP government is way ahead of the curve: mining Bitcoin directly”. Explaining the government’s move, he added that “Being sovereign is an important cultural value in KP, so it makes sense that they want direct access to Bitcoin”.
Pakistan’s stance towards Bitcoin has been similar to other countries as the sector remains stuck in bureaucracy, without legal clarity or well-defined regulations. However local governments and individuals are slowly lobbying for regulations and policies that not only promote the acceptance of cryptocurrencies but will also help in reviving the state’s economy.
The KP administration has been leading such efforts. It has been identified that its naturally cool, mountainous environment favours Bitcoin mining.
Further, last year, officials from the KP administration, led by Zia Bangash, were seen pushing for a resolution to Pakistan’s central government that called for legalising Bitcoin mining and ownership across the country. “We appeal the central government to carefully consider our proposal for legalising cryptocurrency”, the resolution stated.
Meanwhile, Waqar Zaka, a self-styled crypto influencer known in the country for his work in the sector launched one of the country’s first privately-owned mining farms on Monday as a result of the legal development.
“After years of struggle, I am launching the biggest crypto mining farm in KPK where you all can invest & earn”, Zaka explained in a tweet. He also thanked Bangash for the legal support.