Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency, without a central bank or single administrator, that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries. Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain.
Bitcoin is unique in that there are a finite number of them: 21 million.
Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services.
As of February 2015, over 100,000 merchants and vendors accepted bitcoin as payment.
According to an article in the Express Tribune, Pakistan’s first Bitcoin exchange was launched in August 2014 by cryptocurrency start-up Urdubit. The launch was met with some skepticism but also excitement from the Pakistani startup community.
Since then, there has been a slowly growing adoption of Bitcoin in Pakistan. There are now a number of businesses that accept Bitcoin as payment, including web design and development firm Dotsquares, online furniture store FurnitureHub.
pk, and online ticketing platform TicketLeap.pk.
There are also a number of Bitcoin ATMs in Pakistan, which allow people to buy Bitcoin with cash. The first ATM was installed in Karachi in September 2018, and there are now ATMs in Islamabad, Lahore, and Peshawar as well.
The Pakistani government has not yet taken a formal stance on Bitcoin, but the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan has issued a warning to investors about the risks associated with cryptocurrency investments.
Despite the risks, there is still interest in Bitcoin in Pakistan. The potential for growth is there, especially as more businesses start to accept it as payment and more ATMs are installed around the country.