Mixed news from India on cryptocurrency regulation
Indian crypto legislation is getting closer to the crotto world. The Indian government presented a cryptocurrency bill to the lower house of parliament to be adopted during the winter session that began on Monday 29 November. The bill titled “The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021” seeks to “ban all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, allows for some exceptions to promote the underlying cryptocurrency technology and its uses.”
Much debate has emerged over whether the Indian government will ban cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether. The crypto bill itself has not been made public, and the government has not made any official statements regarding the bill. However, many publications and industry insiders have speculated and cited various sources familiar with the matter.
Kumar Gaurav, CEO of the crypto banking platform Cashaa, wrote in a tweet on Wednesday that he had talked by phone with some high-level officials of the MOF (Ministry of Finance) which revealed that there would not be a complete ban, but the management is to regulate cryptocurrencies in line with the guidelines of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Gaurav added that cryptography will be an asset class regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and crypto exchanges will need to obtain licenses from the regulator. “All positive notes,” he wrote to him. Avinash Shekhar, co-CEO of Indian cryptocurrency exchange Zebpay, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” Thursday that he believes there will be some kind of consistent, but tough, regulation.
Shekhar explained that “there have been a lot of positive vibes from the government. We met with Parliament’s finance committee about two weeks ago… The message or sentiments we are getting from the government is that they are looking for some kind of regulation, strict regulation, but not a complete ban ”.
Tanvi Ratna, CEO of Policy 4.0, commented that “It is expected that some basic currencies like BTC, ETH etc. might be allowed in some form ”. However, some media reported that the government is planning to ban all cryptocurrencies and regulate only central bank digital currencies issued by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Priyanka Chaturvedi, a member of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament, commented on the news that the Indian government plans to ban cryptocurrencies via Twitter, writing that, “if true, this is a recipe for disaster that India does not have. he needs. Banning all private crypto currencies is fundamentally 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) released a statement Thursday stating that “a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies will encourage non-state players thereby leading to more illegal use of such currencies.”