ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The revival of the wild, mysterious cryptocurrency world is acknowledged by Bitcoin exceeding $60,000 at writing (till publishing, it could be way off). A slew of investors, many of them Pakistanis, are rushing to the asset class in the expectation of getting rich soon, like any bull market. This is even though the regulatory system does not recognize cryptocurrencies.
The local market is likewise viewed as an attractive prospect by global exchanges.
Pakistan was rated third overall in the 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index, with a score of 0.36, just behind India and Vietnam.
This is an improvement from 15th place in 2020 when the index was 0.272. With a top-three ranking in Southeast Asia, the latest edition of the study has a lot of Pakistan-related data to parse.
To begin with, the country received approximately $20 billion in cryptocurrencies during 2020-21, an increase of 711 percent. In absolute terms, we are still far behind Vietnam ($80 billion) and India ($90 billion).
However, a more accurate comparison is with equities, not with larger markets. According to Mettis Global, the overall traded value at the PSX for the same period was $29.82 billion.
Professionals ($10,000-1,000,000) sent the most money, accounting for more than 40% of the total value sent. Institutional ($1-10 million) and large institutional ($10 million+) accounted for about half of the total, with small and large retail accounting for the rest.
Meanwhile, Binance, Pakistan's largest cryptocurrency exchange, is boosting up its outreach efforts to catch up with the expanding market.