It’s been a while since the tug of war between the Indian authorities and the country’s crypto community started. Although the government wants to ban the digital assets, pressure from the community is pushing the decision the other way.
In a recent update by the New India Express, an interdisciplinary committee set up by the government is now in favor of legalizing and regulating cryptocurrencies rather than putting an outright ban shunning them from the economy.
After discussing the matter in two meetings, a senior official, who attended the panel discussions, told the newspaper: “We have already had two meetings. There is a general consensus that cryptocurrency cannot be dismissed as completely illegal. It needs to be legalized with strong riders. Deliberations are on. We will have more clarity soon.”
This news came days after another major news channel of the country reported that the same committee is set to ban cryptocurrencies within the country’s borders.
Beauty of Anonymity!@CNBCTV18News (7th Dec)
1. Crypto panel report submitted.
2. #crypto to be treated as illegal & RBI guidelines to be brought in to ban it.@NewIndianXpress (26th Dec)
1. Report to be submitted in Feb'2019.
2. Crypto to be legalized.
— Crypto Kanoon (@cryptokanoon) December 26, 2018
This is the second committee formed by the government to study the nascent and lucrative sector. Members of this inter-ministerial committee include the revenue secretary and officials from SEBI, RBI, and MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology).
A Strict No
In February 2018, the country’s Finance Minister echoed the decision and declared cryptocurrencies illegal tender in his annual budgetary speech in the Parliament. This followed a circular by the central bank which ordered all banks in the country to close all ties with cryptocurrency exchanges and firms.
However, a consortium formed by the crypto businesses operating within the country went to the Supreme Court against the central bank’s order.
Another meeting of the committee is scheduled for January and it will be very interesting to see the fate of crypto in the country. “We have also taken inputs from cryptocurrency exchanges and experts and will be examining legal issues with the law ministry. It’s a complicated issue. Once all aspects are decided, then we will have more clarity,” the official added.