Rumors of a looming ban on cryptocurrencies continue to confuse investors in India as the recently proposed law seeks to criminalize possession, issuance, mining, trading, and transferring crypto assets. While this report fuelled a massive FUD in the Indian Crypto market, a recent statement for the nation’s finance minister seems to have given the community a ray of hope.
In a recent interview with local media publisher India Today, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has stressed that regulators do not plan on slowing down innovations pertaining to Bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology.
“From our side, we are very clear that we are not shutting all options off. We will allow certain windows for people use, so that experiments on the blockchain, Bitcoins or cryptocurrency […] and fintech, which depend on such experiments, will have that window available for them. We are not going to shut it off,” she said.
The minister added that lawmakers are finalizing on a cabinet note on cryptocurrencies as the nation continues to focus on deciding its crypto stance. She continued:
“It is nearing completion, and then it will be taken to the cabinet. The Supreme Court had commented on cryptocurrency. We are very clear that the Reserve Bank of India will take a call on an official cryptocurrency.”
Ever since the Supreme Court disbanded the Reserve Bank of India’s blanket ban on cryptocurrencies, several rumors of another upcoming stricter ban on cryptocurrencies have emerged on multiple occasions.
Last month, The Times of India reported that a bill titled Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency will effectively rule out the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies while laying the foundation for the development and launch of an Indian CBDC.
This was followed by a recent report from Reuters citing an anonymous source who claimed that regulators are looking to criminalizing cryptocurrencies and related markets while penalizing rule breakers. Supposedly, officials are positive the bill will be passed into law as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government grips on a significant majority in Parliament.
Despite these reports, industry experts continue to echo an earlier statement from Sitharaman who said earlier this month that the recent rumors of a crypto ban in India have been exaggerated, and lawmakers are “looking at ways in which experimentations can happen in the digital world, in cryptocurrency and so on.”