A recent report has been making the rounds, suggesting that India might introduce a 10-year jail sentence for crypto use. However, experts are now saying that this extreme measure could, in fact, promote the use of cryptocurrencies.
Anyone selling or buying crypto could face a 10-year jail sentence?
This news comes from a Bloomberg Quint article, which claims a “draft bill” under consideration in India could impose strict new cryptocurrency penalties. Moreover, India has long had a complicated regulatory relationship with crypto. What’s more, this bill would introduce some of the strictest penalties for cryptocurrency users in the world.
Specifically, the bill would make anyone involved in the ”sale, purchase and issuance” of all types of cryptocurrency assets liable for a ten-year jail sentence. Although the bill has – thankfully – not been put into place yet, doing so would constitute a major assault on cryptocurrency users.
Nevertheless, this comes amid reports that the Reserve Bank of India might launch its own cryptocurrency. This “Digital Rupee” has supposedly been recommended by a number of governmental agencies.
As such, it would presumably be exempt from any potential ban on cryptocurrencies in India. Nevertheless, the exorbitant cryptocurrency penalties proposed in the Indian draft bill could, according to some, even boost some cryptocurrencies.
For example, Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted that this bill “will really push privacy coin adoption forward.” This comment was seemingly in regard to how it may be logical for consumers to use privacy-centric coins to prevent government surveillance.
Is it too early to worry?
In addition to this, some have even proposed that this bill might work as “an advertisement for Bitcoin”. As it goes, any publicity is good publicity, and a bill such as this would likely spark a fierce debate regarding cryptocurrency regulations.
With that said, however, it is unclear exactly how pressing this bill actually is. Although a number of news outlets have claimed that it is under consideration, these reports are not unanimous. A relatively fresh statement by India’s Central Bank denied any knowledge of such a bill.
Furthermore, India’s Central Bank also claimed not to be in contact with any other agency regarding the creation of such a bill. It is important to note that although this does not explicitly rule out the existence of the draft bill, it casts some doubt on it.
Nevertheless, even if India would impose a 10-year jail sentence on cryptocurrencies, this would likely come with some sort of loophole. All in all, it remains to see what happens to this supposed draft bill.
Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.