The Indian crypto community has been under the cosh for quite some time, ever since the widespread ban on cryptocurrencies in 2017. However, the tide might be turning this year, as the digital asset legalization is back on the government’s agenda.
Cryptocurrencies might be legal again in a couple of months’ time
The first governmental committee to address the cryptocurrencies was formed in March 2017, just as the crypto surge was beginning to take shape. After four months of deliberation, virtual currencies were deemed unacceptable and thus declared illegal by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The bitter sentiment towards crypto was echoed in late 2017 and early last year by the top financial officials of the world’s second most populous country.
However, such rigid measures were understandably met with significant backlash from the local crypto aficionados. As a result, a new committee was formed, this time working in tandem with intergovernmental organizations, such as G20 and Financial Action Task Force (FATF). It seems that the second committee is ready to welcome crypto back into the country, albeit with strict regulations.
Speaking to New Indian Express, an unnamed official told that the committee has already met twice and is set to submit the report to the Indian finance ministry by February. In addition, another meeting is already scheduled this month. According to the source, “There is a general consensus that cryptocurrency cannot be dismissed as completely illegal. It needs to be legalised with strong riders. Deliberations are on. We will have more clarity soon.“
India‘s crypto industry is struggling
Following the overarching ban, the Indian crypto businesses have launched a case in the Supreme Court, challenging the ban. At the time, the government claimed that, “Serious efforts are going on for preparation of the draft report and the draft bill on virtual currencies, use of distributed ledger technology in the financial system and framework for digital currency in India.” The crypto regulation bill has been marred with missed deadlines and extensions but it looks like there is finally light at the end of the tunnel.Meanwhile, crypto entrepreneurs in the country have been struggling to survive. All banks within the borders of India have been forces to cut ties with crypto businesses, meaning they were left to a slow death or forced to look for alternative (and usually more dangerous) ways to survive, like doing all crypto-related transactions in cash.
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I have been following the crypto markets since mid 2017, just in time to witness the incredible surge of the digital asset industry. Fascinated by the potential of blockchain technology I’ve started to dig deeper and that’s how I ended up meeting the Toshi Times team. I hold a Political Science degree, therefore the crypto regulation development is particularly interesting for me. I’m also heavily involved with music, running my own label, a YouTube channel and working with distribution. People call blockchain the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ and I believe it will change our daily lives in the coming years and we will have the front row seats to witness it.