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Afghanistan’s Taliban Government Shuts 16 Crypto Exchanges

Afghanistan’s Taliban government is cracking down on the local cryptocurrency industry as it closed at least 16 exchanges operating from the country’s western Herat province. However, the names of the shuttered exchanges were not revealed.

As reported by Ariana News, the crackdown came in response to the cryptocurrency trading ban imposed by the new Taliban government three months before.

“Da Afghanistan’s Bank (central bank) stated in a letter that digital currency trading has caused lots of problems and is scamming people, therefore, they should be closed. We acted and arrested all the exchangers involved in the business and closed their shops,” the Head of the Counter-Crime Unit of Herat police, Sayed Shah Sa’adat said.

Growing Interest in Crypto in Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s financial system collapsed after the withdrawal of US troops from the country and then the takeover of the Taliban. The hardline government-led central bank of Afghanistan even reportedly banned online foreign exchange trading, citing it as illegal and fraudulent.

The interest in cryptocurrencies skyrocketed among local Afghans with the collapse of the country’s economy. However, the international sanctions on the Taliban government made it very tough to purchase cryptocurrencies.

The Afgan authorities, however, stood on the stance that the cryptocurrency industry is full of fraud and scams, making the crackdown very essential.

Ghulam Mohammad Suhrabi, the Head of Herat Money Exchangers’ Union, said: “Digital currency accounts are outside the country and are purchased from the companies. Our people are not familiar with it, so it is better not to use it. This currency is new in the market and has high fluctuation [rates].”

Meanwhile, the South Korean authorities are pushing to block access to 16 international crypto exchange platforms, including KuCoin and MEXC, that operate in the country without any local authorization.

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