Pakistan Taps Blockchain Developed by $150B Alipay, But Forbids Bitcoin

The government of Pakistan is reportedly using a blockchain platform developed by Alibaba’s Alipay. But, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin remain banned in the country for payments. The initiative of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of Pakistan to utilize a blockchain application to combat money laundering demonstrates the typical “blockchain not Bitcoin” narrative pushed by central banks and large financial institutions. Blockchain Not Bitcoin Several months ago, Pakistan established a partnership with Telenor Microfinance Bank, a financial institution owned and operated by Alipay, a $150 billion fintech giant based in China that acquired a 45 percent stake in Microfinance Bank for $184.5 million. This week, Pakistan announced the successful integration of Alipay’s blockchain remittance platform, relying on Standard Chartered Bank as the settlement bank to process cross-border remittance transactions between Malaysia and Pakistan. The State Bank of Pakistan governor and president Tariq Bajwa stated that the implementation of the blockchain by…

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