India is getting closer to regulating cryptocurrencies on its own soil. India's Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, told The Hindu that the country's crypto bill is ready, and that the government has accepted feedback from industry stakeholders in drafting it.
“We put a lot of effort into it. We've listened to what stakeholders have to say. The Cabinet note has been completed. "We have to see when the Cabinet can take it up and consider it so that we can move it," she said in her interview.
This could suggest that the new legislation governing cryptocurrencies in India would be debated during the next session of Parliament, which begins on July 19.
The bill was also scheduled for the Parliament's Budget session, which runs from February to March, but it was not tabled at the time, probably because the session was cut short owing to the country's second COVID-19 outbreak at the time.
From our perspective, I believe one or two of the indicators I've provided indicate that, at the very least, a window will be available for fintech, experiment, and pilot initiatives. A decision will have to be made by the Cabinet.
India's Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, told The Hindu Business Line
The Indian government's position on cryptocurrency is still unknown
The measure, which was due to be introduced during Parliament's Budget session, was supposed to propose a ban on all "private cryptocurrencies" and laid the foundation for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) – a digital version of the rupee.
Many speculated that the bill would be a re-enactment of the regulations outlined in a draught bill released in 2019, which barred most crypto exchanges and organisations from operating in the country.
However, when it comes to digital currencies, the government has changed its mind. Sitharaman has previously stated that the government is taking a "calibrated" approach to cryptocurrency.
Things came to a head in May, when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued an informal advisory that led banks to withdraw services from cryptocurrency exchanges.
As a result, Indian crypto exchanges were forced to discontinue accepting rupee deposits. Many exchanges have developed solutions, but there is still uncertainty about how Indians will trade cryptocurrency in the future. Some banks have also sent warnings to customers who have transacted with cryptocurrency exchanges.
Crypto investments increased from $200 million in 2019 to $40 billion in 2020, according to a report by crypto research firm Chainalysis, indicating a surge in interest in digital currencies. Experts, industry stakeholders, and users, on the other hand, are unsure about the future of these currencies in the country.
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