Another roadblock for crypto traders in Afghanistan has emerged as the country’s police forcefully closed down 16 cryptocurrency exchanges over the last week. According to a local newspaper report cited in CoinTelegraph, the crypto exchanges closed were all from the Herat province of western Afghanistan.
The police reportedly went on to arrest staff backed by a letter from Da Afghanistan Bank, the country’s central bank. The letter stated that the bank had not issued any licenses for online trading, rendering all such activity illegal.
Sayed Shah Sa’adat, head of the counter-crime unit of Herat police, said to the aforementioned local paper that digital currency trading is causing several issues in the country and that the people of Afghanistan who are new to cryptos trading are getting scammed.
Cryptos and Afghans: A quick recap
Following the Taliban takeover in August last year, Afghans turned to cryptos amid US sanctions. During that time, when their economy was dying, and banks had stopped working, people turned to crypto not just to trade but to survive. Crypto usage skyrocketed as a result, and in 2021, Afghanistan ranked 20 among 154 countries in crypto adoption, according to the Chainalysis index.
Earlier this year, in June, the Taliban declared that all foreign exchange trading is prohibited in the country. That, combined with the recent closure of crypto exchanges, will create additional pressure on the economy.