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As the Indian government gets closer to moving forward with the cryptocurrency bill, an official from the Ministry of Finance reportedly explained what discussions the government has been having regarding the crypto bill and the impending legislation.
The Indian government is getting closer to introducing the cryptocurrency bill in Parliament. On Friday, CNBC TV18 and Bloombergquint provided some updates on the status of the bill and what discussions the government has been having regarding cryptocurrency. However, both news outlets cited anonymous sources.
According to Bloombergquint, “India will go ahead with a complete ban on investment in cryptocurrencies, while providing existing investors a transition period to exit the holdings … this would include a ban on transacting directly via foreign exchanges.” The publication cited “a senior finance ministry official on condition of anonymity.” The official also clarified that the ban will not be enforced overnight, noting:
Cryptocurrency investors will be given a transition period of three to six months after the implementation of the new law to liquidate their investments.
The official added: “India’s new law will be modeled on China’s regulatory regime, which has effectively banned on trading and usage of cryptocurrency, while the government is working on issuing its own virtual currency.”
Another update regarding the Indian crypto bill came from CNBC TV18 on Friday. The news outlet wrote, “Sources suggest the government is discussing rules on the Indian cryptocurrency framework and it’s likely to spell out the modalities soon.” Reporter Timsy Jaipuria explained that the rules will entail “the time period which will be given to withdraw from existing cryptocurrencies.” She noted that this was supposed to be around three months according to 2019 discussions. The framework will also specify how the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), will derive the value of India’s official digital currency and the penalties for not complying with the rules.
Many people in the crypto community in India are reluctant to believe news from anonymous sources, questioning their credibility. Many times in the past, various news outlets reported that the government was planning to ban cryptocurrencies but there has yet to be an official announcement. Crypto influencers in India suggest that people do not speculate and wait for the official announcement from the government or the actual bill to be disclosed.
Meanwhile, the crypto community has launched a campaign to convince lawmakers to regulate cryptocurrencies instead of imposing an outright ban. Even amid the uncertainty of the crypto legislation, the crypto industry in India is booming, boosted by bullish news from outside of India such as Elon Musk’s Tesla buying $1.5 billion worth of BTC.
The “Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021” has been listed to be introduced in Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s Parliament, during the current Parliament session. However, there are reports that the government may fast track the bill.
Several questions regarding cryptocurrency have been asked in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India’s Parliament, since the beginning of this month alone. Firstly, the government clarified its stance on cryptocurrency and the digital rupee, then the government explained that the bill was being finalized. The most recent questions were answered by the finance minister herself regarding the government’s plan for cryptocurrency legislation.
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