Buy Crypto & Bitcoin in Pakistan

We may receive advertising compensation when you click certain products. Before jumping into this page, an important disclosure.

You'll need a Bitcoin wallet before you buy since some exchanges require one.

Don't have a wallet? Read our guide on the best Bitcoin & cryptocurrency wallets.

  • Popular Exchanges to Buy Crypto & Bitcoin in Pakistan
  • Coinmama
    • Works in almost all countries
    • Highest limits for buying bitcoins with a credit card
    • Reliable and trusted broker
  • Kraken
    • Great liquidity and low fees
    • Supports most countries
    • Trusted exchange, started in 2011
  • LocalBitcoins
    • Support for nearly every country
    • Wide range of payment methods accepted
    • Trusted exchange around since 2012

CoinmamaCoinmama Buy Now Read Review

Coinmama allows customers in almost every country to buy bitcoin. They charge a 4.9%-5.9% (depends on volume) fee on each purchase.

Customers in Europe can also purchase bitcoins with SEPA transfer for a lower fee.

Want to buy using Coinmama? This step-by-step guide will show you how to use Coinmama.

Pros
  • Works in almost all countries
  • Highest limits for buying bitcoins with a credit card
  • Reliable and trusted broker
Cons
  • Some of the highest fees among credit/debit card bitcoin brokers
ease icon
Ease of Use
Easy
privacy icon
Privacy
Low
speed icon
Speed
Fast
fees icon
Fees
Average
reputation icon
Reputation
Trusted
limits icon
Limits
High
Buy Now Read Review

LocalBitcoinsLocalBitcoins Buy Now Read Review

LocalBitcoins is an escrow service which also helps to match bitcoin buyers and sellers. Users may advertise trades for whichever payment method they prefer.

Buying bitcoins via an in-person meeting, secured and facilitated by LocalBitcoins, may be one of the fastest and most private ways to buy bitcoins in any country, including the United States, Europe (besides Germany), UK, Singapore, Canada, Australia and many more.

Pros
  • Can be private, fast and easy
  • In-person trades require no personal information
  • Purchases of bitcoin can be made quickly via cash deposit
Cons
  • Beware of scams; always follow the rules!
  • Harder to buy large amounts of bitcoins compared to large exchanges
  • Slightly to significantly higher prices than regular exchanges; premium for higher privacy
ease icon
Ease of Use
Hard
privacy icon
Privacy
High
speed icon
Speed
Fast
fees icon
Fees
Low
reputation icon
Reputation
Trusted
limits icon
Limits
Average
Buy Now Read Review

Bitcoin ATMsBitcoin ATMs Buy Now

You can use our Bitcoin ATM map to buy bitcoins with cash. Bitcoin ATMs can be a quick and easy way to buy bitcoins and they're also private. That convenience and privacy, however, comes with a price; most ATMs have fees of 5-10%.

Pros
  • Our map makes it super easy to find a Bitcoin ATM near you
Cons
  • Bitcoin ATMs often have 5-10% fees per purchase
Buy Now

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Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Trading in Pakistan


Bitcoin's legal status in Pakistan has been turbulent, and local institutions - including banks, exchanges, and payment service providers - are currently banned from supporting the cryptocurrency.

The State Bank of Pakistan announced this decision in 2018 and advised that it would be flagging any cryptocurrency-related transactions as suspicious and reporting them to the Financial Monitoring Unit.

In light of this, Pakistan's main cryptocurrency exchange Urdubit shut down.


screenshot of urdubit homepage

But the situation for Bitcoin enthusiasts in Pakistan is not quite as dire as it may appear.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) released a paper in November 2020 outlining the need for a new approach to digital asset regulation in the country.

Praising the "astounding benefits" of distributed-ledger technology (DLT), the SECP examined regulatory frameworks in other countries and called for a new approach in Pakistan.

The need to develop a policy and regulatory response to Digital Assets in Pakistan is driven by the following:

i. Digital assets are a form of innovation that may impact the financial sector of the country;

ii. Digital assets do not fit within the current regulatory framework;

iii. Digital assets may create conditions for regulatory arbitrage while posing risks; and

iv. Increasing interest, investment and participation in Digital Assets.

The paper outlines two possible approaches:

  • Regulating and restricting digital assets according to existing regulation, which may include the outright banning of certain assets

  • A more laissez-faire approach, where the dynamic nature of the financial system is recognized and authorities are careful not to stifle inonovation

Luckily for Bitcoin investors in Pakistan, the SECP makes it clear that they are prioritizing the second approach.

This opens the door for a much less restrictive treatment of cryptocurrencies in Pakistan.


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Top Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Exchanges in Pakistan


  • Popular Exchanges to Buy Crypto & Bitcoin in Pakistan
  • Coinmama
    • Works in almost all countries
    • Highest limits for buying bitcoins with a credit card
    • Reliable and trusted broker
  • Kraken
    • Great liquidity and low fees
    • Supports most countries
    • Trusted exchange, started in 2011
  • LocalBitcoins
    • Support for nearly every country
    • Wide range of payment methods accepted
    • Trusted exchange around since 2012

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Best Bitcoin Wallets for Pakistan



There are three main types of Bitcoin wallet and all of them are supported in Pakistan:

  • Software (desktop or mobile - iOS and Android wallets
  • Hardware wallet
  • Cold-storage (paper or steel wallets, the latter of which are used to backup your main wallet.

Best for Security

ledger nano x

Ledger Nano X

Secure storage for any cryptocurrency

Learn More

The Ledger Nano X is the newest crypto hardware wallet, and is very easy to use. It connects to iOS, Android & desktop computers.

Temporary Wallet

zengo wallet logo

Zengo

Best for storing crypto for short period of time

Visit Zengo

ZenGo is an easy-to-use iOS and Android Bitcoin & crypto wallet. Start within 20 seconds.

Best for Desktop

electrum logo

Electrum

Simple yet powerful desktop wallet

Learn More

Electrum is a Bitcoin-only wallet that has been around since 2011. It's easy to use, but has advanced features.


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Bitcoin Mining in Pakistan


Bitcoin mining in Pakistan is not permitted as a result of the State Bank's 2018 decree.

However, that hasn't stopped at least one crypto entrepreneur from standing up to the regulation and opening his own mining farm.

Wakar Zaqa - a former television host and current social media personality and crypto-enthusiast - announced that he had installed a mining farm in early December. The announcement came just days before he was due to face court for... attempting to open a Bitcoin mining operation.


twitter announcement waqar zaka

You can't doubt his commitment.

Zaka also played a role in having the government of his state - the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province - pass a resolution calling on the national government to consider their document outlining why the legalization of cryptocurrency in Pakistan would be beneficial for the country.

While there might not be any large-scale Bitcoin mining in Pakistan, crypto enthusiasts in the country can at least know that they have themselves a passionate and committed spokesman.


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Crypto Hacks and Scams in Pakistan


A ransomware attack struck the sole energy provider in Karachi in Sepetember 2020. K-Electric had its online systems locked by the hackers, who demanded a ransom of US$3.85 million payable in Bitcoin.

K-Electric is the largest provider of electricity in the country, serving over 2.5 million customers. The company reported that no customer information had been accessed.


screenshot of k-electric homepage

Users were confronted with this error message when attempting to log in to their online accounts. The hackers set up a Tor website where the ransom could be paid.


screenshot of tor ransom page

The hackers also claimed that they had stolen unencrypted files from K-Electric before carrying out the ransomware attack.

With this attack, K-Electric joined a growing list of organizations that have been targeted by ransomware which includes Argentina's immigration department, a number of U.S. government offices and organizations, and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), which paid out a $1.14 million ransom in June 2020.


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FAQ


Bitcoin is not currently legal in Pakistan. However, there have been a number of recent initiatives from regulators to get the government to reconsider its position. This means that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and Bitcoin could soon be legal in Pakistan.

Why is Bitcoin Banned in Pakistan?

The State Bank of Pakistan did not give any reasons behind its 2018 ban of all digital currencies, beyond remarking that they are not legal tender and are not issued or guaranteed by the Government of Pakistan.

Many governments feel threatened by the rise of digital currencies and want to do as much as they can to control them. Perhaps Pakistan is taking the time to prepare legislation applying to the blockchain space, or perhaps it has no plans to relax restrictions on Bitcoin and other digital assets.

Is Bitcoin Halal?

Gold is considered halal, so Bitcoin - digital gold, as it's often called - should be too, right? The answer is: mostly.

Most uses of Bitcoin are permitted under Sharia law, say religious scholars. Just as fiat currencies are allowed, so too is Bitcoin for legitimate transactions.

Although there is no official guidance, it is almost certain that the use of Bitcoin for gambling, earning interest, margin trading, or explicitly speculative trading is haram.

You can check out a deep-dive into whether or not Bitcoin is halal here.

About the Author: Jordan Tuwiner

Jordan Tuwiner is the founder of BuyBitcoinWorldwide.com. His work has been featured in The Guardian, International Business Times, Forbes, VentureBeat, CoinDesk and many other top Bitcoin media outlets. His articles are read by millions of people each year looking for the best way to buy Bitcoin and crypto in their country.

He has also written extensively about the history, technology, and business of the crypto world. Jordan is also the creator of some of the internet's most famous Bitcoin pages, including The Quotable Satoshi and Bitcoin Obituaries.

To learn more about Jordan, see his full bio.