NEW DELHI :
The proposed cryptocurrency bill may allow holders of such currencies to exit the asset class before its anticipated ban but may put a heavy penalty on its conversion to a legal asset.
“The bill is yet to be finalized. The form and manner of declaration and how existing holders of the cryptocurrency should dispose of it will be prescribed either in the law or through the rules to be notified later,” a finance ministry official said on condition of anonymity. The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 is scheduled to be tabled in the ongoing budget session of Parliament. The bill is intended to “create a facilitative framework for the creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The bill also seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India. However, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses,” the Lok Sabha secretariat said in a bulletin.
The bill is likely to make mining, holding, selling, issuing, transferring, and using of cryptocurrency a punishable offence with a heavy fine or imprisonment or both.
“Certain media reports suggest that the government has decided to ban all private cryptocurrency and other key players of the industry. We would like to receive an intimation from the government on this. We would like to reiterate that the government of India is yet to release the draft of the proposed bill. As an exchange, we remain hopeful that the ministry of finance will definitely engage with the community before taking any harsh measures,” said Sumit Gupta, founder of cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX.
Investments worth $24 million went into crypto firms in 2020, up from a mere $5 million in the previous year, as per data from analysis firm Venture Intelligence. Crypto firms in India have also experienced a successful year since the lockdown in March 2020. Crypto trading in India has become a formalized sector over the past few years, because of the rise of various crypto exchanges.