- Finance minister assures crypto would be experimented before any ban.
- Crypto India undisturbed about any looming ban.
India, one of the most populous countries globally, has begun plans to ban cryptocurrencies. However, the country’s finance minister has said a ‘window’ for experimentation would be allowed.
High-ranking government officials in the Asian country threw the Indian crypto community into a frenzy after suggesting that a new law would ban the possession or usage of cryptocurrencies, as per a report on Reuters this morning.
The officials said the use of blockchain technology would be promoted in the country, but the use of “private crypto-assets”—such as Bitcoin and Ethereum—would be stamped out. Jail term was mentioned for offenders in a 2019 bill. However, currently, they only propose strict penalties instead.
India finance minister ray of hope
Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister, said at an event over the weekend that amidst strict regulation, the government would allow a “window” for experiments on Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency.
“We will allow a certain amount of a window for people to experiment on blockchain and Bitcoin,” said Sitharaman, adding that a Cabinet bill on cryptocurrencies was getting ready and is expected to pass soon.
She noted that even though the Reserve Bank of India has taken its stand on cryptocurrencies, the finance ministry was clear and would not shut off all options.
Anxiety in India crypto community over proposed ban
Crypto enthusiasts are in the middle of the tension between the RBI and the Finance Ministry. The two government authorities are known to always be at loggerheads with how finances in the country should be handled.
The RBI had previously banned cryptocurrencies in 2018, but the Supreme Court overturned the ban in May 2020. The RBI said it would continue to ensure digital currencies are prohibited and returned in early 2021 with a new proposal to ban their usage while proposing its digital stablecoin.
Also, trading volumes on WazirX, the country’s biggest crypto exchange, averages nearly $100 million as it seems the country’s crypto players are not disturbed.