Pakcoin Developer Continues to Work Despite Hostile Environment
Today, I spoke to Abu Shaheer, the founder and developer of Pakcoin, Pakistan’s first cryptocurrency. Notably, Pakistan is a third-world country with an unfriendly business environment due to rampant corruption and extreme political instability. Fairly recently, the elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified and had to vacate his office once allegations of corruption had been confirmed against him. Due to such turmoil, the Pakistani Rupee has taken a sharp nosedive.
Furthermore, Pakistan has a very low Human Development Index (HDI), a statistical indicator that measures the overall quality of life of a country’s citizens. Since I live here in Pakistan, I can tell you that there are many day-to-day problems that people here go through which they really shouldn’t have to, considering we are well into the 21st century. These problems include frequent power outages, political strikes due to heated confrontations between the rule and opposing parties, and an alarming rate of extortion and other serious crimes.
A Positive Side to Pakistan
The mere fact that there are people like Abu Shaheer working on developing a cryptocurrency platform such as Pakcoin, despite the turbulent conditions in Pakistan, shows that everything about Pakistan is not negative. In fact, some reports suggest that this nation has the world’s 4th most intelligent population. Also, there are highly skilled software developers who live and work in Pakistan.
Notably, one young Pakistani developer and student created a full-fledged IDE for Assembly Language programmers. Then, there are also inspiring Youtubers such as Laiba Zaid, who have amassed hundreds of thousands of followers and subscribers on Instagram and Youtube because of their entertaining and informative videos on beauty, lifestyle, and fitness. So, it is these few people who are contributing to Pakistan’s deprived digital economy.
Okay, so now I’ll recap what Mr. Abu Shaheer and I discussed today.
Pakcoin Platform Objective
Abu Shaheer explained to me that the Pakcoin platform was a fork of Litecoin, which itself is a fork of Bitcoin. The coin’s founder admitted that there were no significant differences between the Litecoin platform and the one he has developed. He said that while he values innovation, he would first like to focus on the basics. By this, he means that he would like for cryptocurrencies like Pakcoin to actually start being used by people.
Shaheer stressed, like many others that I’ve interviewed in the crypto space, that cryptocurrencies were still not very user-friendly, and it is particularly difficult for the layperson or common man to understand how they work and use. Therefore, the crypto developer has focused his efforts around making Pakcoin more accessible and usable by the local population. He plans to create an easy method by which Pakcoin currency can be transferred through a standard point-of-sales (POS) system to a merchant as payment.
As our conversation went on, I had to ask Shaheer about his take on the recent attempt by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to ban cryptocurrencies. He rightly pointed out that the country’s State Bank did not have the authority to make laws. Of course, this is the case for almost all countries. However, the SBP did instruct all local banks to not process crypto-related transactions, thus creating a hostile and unfriendly environment for Pakistan’s small crypto-community.
Usually what happens when governments try to restrict such activity, as Shaheer noted, is that people tend to use “backdoors” and this often involves some type of unlawful and harmful activity. Therefore, the Pakcoin developer said that it is best if the SBP would try to work cooperatively with the nation’s cryptocurrency users and encourage the development of a proper regulatory framework around Pakistan’s digital currency market.
This seems like the most logical and practical approach. Moreover, the crypto space, along with blockchain, brings cutting-edge technology to Pakistan; the country has already been deprived too long from healthy economic growth and activity due to the corrupt “elite”. Projects like Pakcoin are one of the very few bright spots that this troubled country has, so I think that the Pakistani government should try to accommodate such initiatives.
Please note that this article has not covered everything that I discussed with Mr. Shaheer. The interested readers may look forward to the other things we talked about in a later post, exclusively here on Crypto Core Media.