Police closed crypto exchanges in Afghanistan

For the past year, police in Taliban government-controlled Afghanistan have been shutting down cryptocurrency exchanges. Crypto trading was banned in Afghanistan about three months ago. Police have closed at least 16 crypto exchanges in the province of Herat last week.

A local media report states that some arrests have also taken place during the closure of these exchanges. Afghanistan’s Central Bank banned foreign exchange trading in June. Under this, crypto trading has also been banned. Ghulam Mohammad Suhrabi, head of Herat Money Exchangers’ Union, said, “There is no directive for forex trading under Islamic law. That’s why we have banned it. Digital currency accounts are the bar of the country and digital currencies are bought from firms.” Our people don’t know much about it and that’s why it’s better not to use them.”

Regarding the ban, the Central Bank had said that a legal case would be initiated against those who violated it. The central bank had stated that it has not issued any licenses for online trading and therefore such activities are illegal. The use of cryptocurrencies in Afghanistan increased after the Taliban took control. Obtaining remittances became difficult due to the exodus of firms facilitating foreign remittances out of Afghanistan. This has led to an increase in the use of cryptocurrencies. Al Jazeera reported in March that there is a WhatsApp group for trading in cryptocurrencies in Afghanistan with more than 13,000 members in Herat.

Cryptocurrencies were instrumental in getting aid from Western countries in Afghanistan. Some organizations based abroad used cryptocurrencies to provide aid. Afghanistan’s economy has weakened over the past year. The lack of foreign aid has had a major impact on the economy. With many firms shutting down operations in Afghanistan, unemployment has also increased and it has become difficult for people to meet basic needs.

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