Cryptocurrency investors in India are concerned that the country’s parliament will consider a government-backed bill to ban “private” cryptocurrencies.
At the end of last week, it became known that the Bill on Cryptocurrency and Regulation of the Official Digital Currency of 2021, which is being considered by lawmakers, prohibits the use of cryptocurrencies in India and provides the basis for the creation of an official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
According to experts, the government’s definition of a” private “cryptocurrency means that any digital currency issued by a non-state can be considered” private”, including bitcoin. It is unclear which cryptocurrencies will be affected, as the bill allows for certain unspecified exceptions to promote the underlying cryptocurrency technology and its use.
“It’s time to be nervous,” an anonymous representative of a major cryptocurrency exchange told the Economic Times of India.
Nischal Shetty, CEO of Mumbai-based cryptocurrency exchange WazirX, criticized the initiative. He said that “there is no private cryptocurrency,” and the bill aims to help the RBI issue a public cryptocurrency by banning so-called “private” cryptocurrencies, with some exceptions.
“A large country like India should at least work on understanding the underlying terminology before submitting technology-related bills to Parliament. This initiative seems hasty, ” Shetty said.
He added that the bill may not be approved. According to Shetty, the wrong or hasty rules will set India back a decade, and the right regulation will put the country at the forefront of the development of this technology. If the bill passes, India will be the only major Asian country to ban private cryptocurrencies, rather than regulate them like corporate stocks.
Recall that in 2018, the RBI banned banks and financial organizations from providing services to firms working with cryptocurrencies. However, in March 2020, the Supreme Court of India overturned the RBI directive.