The Taliban are clamping down on cryptocurrency traders in Afghanistan, according to a report from Bloomberg.
A senior Afghan police officer, Sayed Shah Sa'adaat, spoke with Bloomberg about the crackdown, which has seen 13 people detained so far. Saadat said it came as a response to some Afghans storing their money in crypto to keep it away from the Taliban.
“The central bank gave us an order to stop all money changers, individuals, and businesspeople from trading fraudulent digital currencies like what is commonly referred to as Bitcoin,” he said.
More than 20 crypto-related businesses have been shut down in the country's third largest city, Herat, where three-quarters of the country's crypto brokerages are located, per Bloomberg's report.
Afghanistan's economy has suffered in the year since the Taliban took control, according to the Financial Times, as large parts of the country have been pushed further into poverty. As shown in the chart below, unemployment in the country jumped sharply last year according to data collected by the World Bank.
The Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan prior to the US-led invasion in 2001, retook control of the country amid the final withdrawal of US forces. The BBC reported in March that the use of crypto had grown more attractive in Afghanistan amid sanctions imposed by the US following the Taliban takeover.
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