Since the Indian government announced that a bill on cryptocurrency would be up for discussion in the next session, which begins next week, there has been much controversy about whether or not the government plans to ban such cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Crypto Regulation is coming, but conflicting accounts exist about its contents
Indian crypto legislation is on the horizon. The Indian government has listed a cryptocurrency bill to be taken up in Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s parliament, for the winter session which starts on Monday, Nov. 29.
The bill titled “The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021” seeks to “prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.”
Many debates have erupted about the Indian government’s decision to ban cryptos such as Bitcoin (BTC) or ether (ETH).
The bill, which is the cryptocurrency bill, has not yet been released to the public. The government also has not issued any statements on the matter. However, industry insiders and publications have speculated and quoted multiple sources who are familiar with the subject.
Cashaa’s CEO, Kumar Gaurav, sent this tweet Wednesday
A few MOF high-ranking officials joined me for a conference call. [Ministry of Finance]. Although there is not a complete ban on crypto, the goal is to regulate it in accordance with FATF. [Financial Action Task Force] guidelines.
Gaurav also stated that crypto would be a class of assets regulated by Securities and Exchange Board of India. Crypto exchanges must obtain licences from this regulator. “All positive notes,” he wrote.
Avinash Shekhar, co-CEO of Indian cryptocurrency exchange Zebpay, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Thursday:
My conviction is that there will eventually be some type of uniform regulation. However, it will likely be more stringent.
Shekhar explained: “There have been lots of positive vibes from the government. We met the finance committee of Parliament around two weeks back … The message or the feelers which we are getting from the government is that they’re looking for some kind of regulation — strict regulation, but not a complete ban.”
Tanvi Ratna, CEO of Policy 4.0, commented: “Yes, it’s expected that the government will pass legislation in this session itself. However, it may not be a complete legislation … It is expected that some basic coins such as BTC, ETH etc could be allowed in some form.”
However, media outlets report that India’s government plans to ban all cryptocurrency and only regulate central bank digital currency issued by the Reserve Bank of India.
Priyanka, a Rajya Sabha member, expressed concern about the Indian government’s plans to ban cryptocurrency use via Twitter.
If true, this is a recipe for disaster India doesn’t need. Banning all private crypto currencies is basically killing the space — robbing India of creating an ecosystem for new age Fintech.
The Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC) of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), issued a statement Thursday asserting that “a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies will encourage non-state players thereby leading to more unlawful usage of such currencies.”
Last week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged all democratic countries to work together on cryptocurrency to “ensure it does not end up in wrong hands, which can spoil our youth.” He also chaired a comprehensive meeting on crypto. Furthermore, India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance held a meeting with representatives from the crypto industry.
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