India recently proposed passing a new law that will ban cryptocurrencies and fine anyone trading or holding such digital assets in the country. However, this could be a significant potential blow to millions of investors. At the moment, the bill will be one of the world’s strictest policies against cryptocurrencies, which would involve criminalizing possession, issuance, mining, trading, and transferring crypto assets.
An official who asked to remain anonymous said the bill would give holders of cryptocurrencies a window of six months to liquidate their assets, after which penalties will be levied.
Furthermore, the official mentioned that they don’t have a problem with technology pointing out that there’s no harm in harnessing it.
The New India Bill
The government has been planning action against cryptocurrencies for the past few months, but recent comments gave investors some hope. However, if the new bill is approved into law, at this point, investors will begin to worry. India could become the first major economy to make holding cryptocurrency illegal if the bill is enacted; China also banned mining and trading but did not penalize possession.
Officials are optimistic the bill will be passed into law as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government grips on a significant majority in Parliament
The Indian government has formed a high-level Inter-Ministerial Committee to look into cryptocurrency. India’s Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur told the Entrepreneurs’ Organization that they could present a legislative proposal in Parliament based on the committee’s recommendations. He added that the government welcomes new technology such as blockchain. He also reassured that the Prime Minister is a strong advocate of embracing technology in various aspects of governance.
Demand for Virtual Currencies
On Saturday, Thakur said they are aware that there is immense interest in these virtual currencies. He added that they still need to look at the national security and security of Indians and individuals. He quoted this while addressing an event organized by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization Punjab.
Transaction volumes are still rising in India despite the threats of a ban as Bitcoin hit a record high of $60,000 on Saturday. The value of Bitcoin has almost doubled in value this year as its acceptance for payments has increased with support from high-profile backers like Tesla CEO Elon Musk. According to industry estimates, eight million investors in India now hold 100 billion rupees ($1.4 billion) in crypto-investments.
The industry is also hopeful that the government will not impose a complete ban on cryptocurrencies but will regulate it.