According to local publication The Economic Times, the Indian government may be planning to ban cryptocurrency as a whole.
Blocking the future
As of now, the regulating body in India is working on a draft bill that would ban cryptocurrencies. In fact, the draft is entitled “Banning of Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies Bill 2019.”
However, as the title mentions, the bill would regulate “official digital currencies” while still banning crypto. So, it’s not that the government is against blockchain technology and digital assets, they just want one they can control, presumably under their own cryptocurrency exchange.
Moreover, the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA) and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), are on board. These groups plan to endorse a ban on the “sale, purchase and issuance of all types of cryptocurrency.”
However, the source in which The Economic Times got this information wants to remain anonymous.
Soon to decide
Essentially, the group has until the end of May to decide. At that time, the plan will be presented to a new government that takes over.
There is also the case of money laundering. While yes, these digital assets are used for such a thing, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act could prevent this. This is another point in favor of the ban on digital assets.
Going off of this, the ministry of corporate affairs is worried about digital assets such as Bitcoin (BTC), Etheruem (ETH), and others since the trading is done by uncontrolled groups with the intention of big profit.
They don’t believe in such a process, claiming that may crypto companies are nothing more than “Ponzi schemes” that are in place to “defraud gullible investors.”
Of course, even if the bill passes in May, it will still take time for this to come into effect. Because of this, those who are leading these “Ponzi schemes” may be accused under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act until the new bill comes into effect.
This is unfortunate, as there are certainly Indian citizens that believe in Bitcoin trading. However, there isn’t much they can do if this law comes into effect. They’ll either have to move or deal with the consequences.