The proposed cryptocurrency ban in India has been a hot topic this year as this is one of the many occasions where Indian lawmakers have threatened to ban digital currencies. The crypto community in India is actively trying to battle the government’s decision, and these efforts have received heavy support from industry leaders all across the globe.
Former Coinbase chief technology officer Balaji Srinivasan is the latest to speak about the looming ban, and has warned that banning bitcoin and cryptocurrencies would be like banning the “financial internet.”
In an interview with The CapTable, Srinivasan, said that the blanket ban on “private cryptocurrencies” would result in India losing trillions of dollars in trade revenue, as it would redirect trade to neighboring Asian markets:
“It’s really important that the ban (India’s plan to ban owning, trading, mining or investing in cryptocurrency) should not go through. It would be a trillion-dollar mistake for India, without exaggeration.”
As previously reported by The Daily Chain, an anonymous source claiming to be a senior Indian Finance Ministry official reported that the ban is likely to occur and the regulators have decided to give a three-to-six month period for investors to liquidate funds.
The bill dubbed Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency was introduced in the Lok Sabha bulletin in January. The bill looks to “prohibit all private cryptocurrencies”, while also allowing for “certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.”
Srinivasan adds that if India moves ahead with the ban, it could become 20% poorer than it otherwise would be over the next five years. The former Coinbase executive said the ban would stop the “financial internet” from taking root in India:
“India could get 20% poorer from what it could have achieved over the five-year term. It is almost like banning the internet for 5 years. The losses add up a lot. […] It would be a reversal of economic liberalization in many ways. It would basically be banning the financial internet from entering the country. And it wouldn’t even achieve the desired objective.”
Coming too Soon?
Per recent reports, the ban might be coming sooner than expected as lawmakers might be taking the “ordinance route” to speed up the process of introducing the crypto law “within a month” of it being issued.
However, some industry experts believe these recent moves are efforts to mitigate illicit activities.