Taliban Outlaws Crypto in Afghanistan, Cracks Down on Token Traders

The Taliban regime has banned cryptocurrencies in Afghanistan and arrested several dealers who were involved in trading digital tokens. According to a Bloomberg report, Afghanistan’s central bank imposed a nationwide ban on cryptocurrencies this month as the militant group sees digital tokens like Bitcoin as fraudulent.

The international media reported that the crackdown started with Afghanistan’s third largest city, Herat, as Afghans turned to cryptocurrencies to preserve their wealth and keep it out of the Taliban’s reach. Hence, Afghanistan had become one of the top 20 countries in terms of crypto adoption.

So far, 13 people have been arrested, and more than 20 crypto-related businesses have been shut down in Herat.

Crypto Had Become a Popular Way of Moving Money in and out of the Country

In March 2022, BBC reported that after the Taliban takeover, crypto spread like wildfire in Afghanistan, mainly because of US sanctions, failing banks, and the drying up of foreign aid and cash transfers since the Taliban takeover.

Crypto had come to the rescue of the people after the country was shut off from the global banking system.

The US seized $7.1b (£5.4b) worth of assets from the Afghan central bank and ended transfers of US currency. Companies in Poland and France contracted to print the Afghan currency and ended shipments after the Taliban took over Afghanistan.

The liquidity crisis that followed meant that commercial banks couldn’t lend money, and retail customers couldn’t take their own money out of banks, the international media observed.

On the Flipside

  • People in Afghanistan turned to cryptocurrency not just to trade but to survive. In Afghanistan, banks have stopped working, and the state’s economy continues to fall apart.

Why You Should Care

After the United Nations Refugee Agency estimated that half a million people in Afghanistan are in desperate need of food, water, shelter, and other essential necessities, the Creator of Visualize Value, Jack Butcher, sought out NFTs as a way to help people in need by establishing “Care Package’’ on his company’s website. Care Package is an NFT series of 1,000 pieces priced at 0.03 ETH, which translates to $87 dollars. Each purchase covers one family’s emergency needs for one month.

After the ban on crypto, it is going to be next to impossible to help civilians.

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed to be financial legal or tax advice. Trading Forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs poses a considerable risk of loss

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Author

Akriti is a Zurich-based reporter, focused on the political, regulatory, and legislative developments around crypto. She is a business journalist with over six years of experience working as a correspondent for organizations like Channel NewsAsia and Bloomberg TV India. In that time, Akriti has covered news in the finance, pharma, and state sectors.