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Lok Shabha update suggests India might ban private crypto

Some experts believe the government might impose strict regulations but not impose an outright ban on crypto.

Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Sun, 28 Nov 2021, 08:24 am UTC

India’s crypto community is waiting with bated breath as the Parliament’s “Winter Session” is about to commence. At stake is the future of crypto trading in the country as speculations mount that the government might impose an outright ban on private cryptos such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

The government appears to be pushing ahead with its plan of banning most cryptocurrencies based on a bulletin posted on the Indian parliament’s website Lok Shabha. The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 will be one of those up for discussion included when the Parliament starts its “Winter Session” on Monday.

The government is keen on developing its own central bank digital currency (CBDC). The crypto bill’s description said that it aims “to create a facilitative framework for the creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India.”

But what worried crypto proponents is that the government might impose a ban on private cryptos. “The Bill also seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses,” the Lok Sabha post added.

“[The latest bill] is a mystery as it was never made public. So it’s hard to know but from what we know this can be an amended version of the initial banning draft that was introduced by the IMC committee headed by Subhash Chandra Garg,” Aditya Singh, co-founder of the YouTube channel Crypto India, said, according to Coindesk.

Meanwhile, others are hopeful that while India might impose tough regulations on the crypto market, it might not go for an outright ban on private coins. “My belief is that we will have some kind of coherent regulation, but on the tougher side,” Avinash Shekhar, co-CEO of Zebpay, told CNBC.

Shekhar based his speculation on the government’s recent actions, which are viewed as positive for the crypto industry. “There have been lots of positive vibes from the government,” he added. “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.”

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