In a recent interview with Indian news outlet ET Now, Subhash Chandra Garg, the head of the recently formed government run crypto panel, said that he and his team are close to announcing a regulatory framework for the use and trade of cryptocurrency in India.
The Indian government has been extremely divided about the use and legality of cryptocurrencies in the country. Representatives of the tax department have called for an outright ban on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, while there have been voices within the government that have seemed to be open to seeing a crypto future in India.
Subhash Chandra Garg, who is also the secretary of economic affairs in India said, “we are fairly close to developing a template (for the use of cryptocurrencies) that might be in the best interests of our country. We have moved pretty far in this regard, and we have prepared a draft that entails what parts of this businesses should be banned and what should be preserved. This should be discussed by the first week of July and we should wrap this up within in the first fortnight of July.”
The Indian government seems to adhere to the view of considering bitcoin and other crypto as crypto assets. In earlier interactions with the media, Subhash Chandra Garg promised that cryptocurrencies would be regulated in India before the end of the previous financial year. That timeline seems to have been extended now to July.
Subhash Chandra Garg has address questions regarding the use of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the past and he his comments then are somewhat in line with his most recent comments. In previous interviews, he has gone on to favour a ruling that denies the use of bitcoin and other coins as a mode of payment. His comments have pointed towards the direction that India may continue to hold its stand of not recognising cryptocurrencies as legal tender.
What does this mean for crypto in India?
Following Japan’s recent FSA circular ordering better business practices at crypto exchanges, India’s announcement to regulate cryptocurrencies may actually be a good thing. In many cases, regulations clean up the system and will make it easier for the masses to enter this ecosystem.
However, recent news of the RBI not having done any kind of research before passing the circular that banned all financial bodies from working with businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies, is worrisome. If the regulations that follow are also based on shallow research, then we’re looking at the end of a blockchain ecosystem in India.
Zebpay’s recent circular has caused enough turmoil for crypto holders in India over the past few days. However, if recent reports are to be believed, then it looks like the government panel has come up with a decent framework which may just mark the beginning of a crypto empowered India.
We will be watching this space closely. Stay tuned to our telegram channel for more updates regarding this development.
Hitesh Malviya is the Founder of ItsBlockchain. He is one of the most early adopters of blockchain & cryptocurrency enthusiast in India. After being into space for a few years, he started IBC in 2016 to help other early adopters learn about the technology.
Before IBC, Hitesh has founded 4 companies in the cyber security & IT space.
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