In Afghanistan, following the Taliban’s takeover last year, cryptocurrencies had become essential. They had an important place in the economic sphere because of the various sanctions imposed by the American authorities. However, since things have returned to normal, cryptocurrencies have become illegal in the country. For this reason, the state police terminated the activity of 16 cryptocurrency exchanges.
Closing of exchanges and arrest
According to information reported by the media Arian News, the Afghan security forces have closed 16 cryptocurrency exchanges over the past week. The operation took place in the province of Herat, in the west of the country. Not only would the authorities have put an end to the activity of the stock exchanges, but they would also have arrested employees for practicing illegal activities.
For the Afghan authorities, the use of cryptocurrencies has become illegal, which means that anyone who uses them is liable to arrest. In fact, they consider such a person to be defrauding the nation.
Regarding the arrest of the employees, the head of the crime control unit (Herat police), Sayed Shah Sa’adat, said: “The central bank said that crypto exchanges have caused a lot of problems and serve to scam people. They must therefore be closed. We took action and arrested everyone involved in this activity and closed their stores.”
A need for crypto regulation?
At the moment, the names of the cryptocurrency exchanges affected by the large Afghan State Police operation are unknown. Nevertheless, we know that Afghans would like to have the possibility of using cryptocurrencies in a regulatory framework. Indeed, the media Arian News revealed the opinion of an expert according to whom “Cryptocurrencies are still new to people” and therefore the “process should be monitored by the government so that there is no scam and users can make better investments”.
As a reminder, Afghanistan is one of the 20 countries in the world where there is a growing interest in cryptocurrencies. In his 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index reportblockchain research firm Chainalysis had placed the country at the 20e position of countries rapidly adopting digital currency. But this interest in digital assets only existed before the Taliban regained power.
In Afghanistan, police shut down 16 cryptocurrency exchanges, as digital assets have become illegal in the country. She would have arrested the employees on the grounds of the practice of an activity which makes it possible to defraud the nation. Yet, until the arrival of the Taliban, Afghanistan was the 20e countries to have a high interest rate for cryptocurrencies.
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