Will India’s Crypto Regulatory Attempt End in Official Ban?

Wilfred Michael 

Wilfred Michael

News reporter

26 April 2019,
Will India’s Crypto Regulatory Attempt End in Official Ban?

Two years on from its first attempt to exterminate the cryptocurrency industry, recent reports suggest that the country’s lawmakers may be closer than ever before to get their wish of freezing the young industry.

Barely a week after crypto startups were sidelined from a supposed fintech regulatory sandbox, the Economic Times reports that the Indian government has kicked off inter-ministerial consultation on a new bill targeting a ban on the use of cryptocurrencies.

The framework tagged “Banning of Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies Bill 2019," has reportedly reached several Indian government departments according to the anonymous sources close to the matter.

Reporting on what stance government departments took about the proposed ban, the sources said a number of them have already endorsed the idea.

Specifically, the report mentions that the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and the Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA) are all parties to the idea of an outright ban.

Representatives from these Committees think that the ban has already taken longer than expected and should be enforced as soon as possible. They also suggested that since cryptocurrencies could facilitate money laundering, the ban could be implemented as supposed compliance with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

However, they would have to wait a little longer for their wish to be granted. Election day in India comes up next month, with whoever becomes victorious at the polls directly receiving the power to pass the proposed bill into law. Only time will eventually tell whether the Indian government gets to ban the use of cryptocurrencies finally.

As Stmarket.co has reported, previous crypto regulatory attempts in Russia, France and Mauritius resulted in safer havens for the industry, but India's case looks programmed to produce one of the most unhappy endings for the emerging space.


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