The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) released a report and a draft bill proposing a total ban on cryptocurrency and the harsh measures to be taken on any Indian citizen who holds, sells or buys cryptocurrency.
Eventually, Is India Banning Cryptocurrency?
This comes after months of confusion as the crypto community is still in the dark about India’s stance on bitcoin and cryptocurrency. On July 15th, an unverified document was published revealing a supposed draft bill titled “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Assets”. According to this Act, no person is allowed to handle cryptocurrency in any way. If a person defies this law, they are to face up to 10 years imprisonment or/and a hefty fine.
However, on July 19th, the Finance Minister of State and Minister of Corporate Affairs, Anurag Thakur, addressed this bill saying currently there’s no law in India restricting the use of Cryptocurrencies as reported by Inc42.
Presently, a report has already been drafted by the Inter-Ministerial Committee and is to be taken before the Indian Parliament for approval or dismissal. If a majority of the house members approve it, then it will be passed as a law. This proposal portrays cryptocurrency as “private cryptocurrencies” that should be banned.
The report reads in part, “The Committee endorses the stand taken by the RBI to eliminate the interface of institutions regulated by the RBI from cryptocurrencies. The committee also recommends that all exchanges, people, trade and other financial system participants should be prohibited from dealing with cryptocurrencies. Accordingly, the committee has recommended a law banning the cryptocurrencies in India and criminalizing carrying on of any activities connected with cryptocurrencies in India.”
Out Goes Crypto, In Comes Digital Rupee
Although India is clearly at the forefront of banning cryptocurrency, the proposal doesn’t suggest a ban on crypto research. In fact, banks and financial institutions will still be allowed to use the distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain technology.
The Committee even proposed that the Central Bank of India should develop a “Digital Rupee” to be the sole cryptocurrency in India.
Cryptocurrency Proponents Are Concerned
On July 16th after the aforementioned unverified document proposing banning of cryptocurrency surfaced online, bitcoin enthusiast and Tezos investor Tim Draper bashed this move referring to the Indian government as “pathetic and corrupt”.
Other crypto-proponents have viewed this recent report to ban cryptocurrency in India as a major cause for concern. Among these people is the founder of Morgan Creek Digital and a renowned crypto analyst, Anthony Pompliano.
He expressed this in a tweet citing, “We need to pay attention to what is happening in India around cryptocurrency regulation. I’m willing to fly to meet with lawmakers and regulators if someone can get me a meeting. Who can help?”
In response to this tweet, a veteran bitcoin investor, Peter McCormack tweeted saying, “I’ll join you on that fight”
Finally, Charlie Shrem, founder of BitcoinFoundation.org and bitcoin investor replied saying he would help set up a meeting with the Indian regulators, pointing out that next month he was scheduled to have an unofficial meeting with an Indian MP.