By Rizwan Ahmed and Sajid FarooqiPublished November 12, 2017 09:01:00A Pakistani bitcoin exchange has started accepting bitcoin payments for real estate, after months of delays and criticism from government officials.
The Bitcoin Exchange Board of Pakistan (BIBP) said it will accept bitcoin payments in the country for properties ranging from apartments to small commercial buildings.
The move comes after the central bank in September asked all banks to implement bitcoin-to-liquids payments in a bid to tackle currency and property shortages.
Pakistan has been struggling with an economy that has lost more than 20 percent of its GDP in the past five years and the government has failed to provide enough financial services.
The exchange board said it had raised $1 million ($1.2 million) from two private investors, including former chief of the central Bank of Pakistan Aziz Ahmed, who is an influential figure in the Pakistani banking system.
It said it would also open an office in Karachi.
Budget cuts and other factors have led to a shortage of foreign currency and other assets in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s government has been trying to revive its economy with policies like the development of a $25 billion-a-year investment fund to boost investment in industries like energy, tourism, infrastructure, telecommunications and retail.