India’s Bitcoin Exchanges Breathe Sigh of Relief As Gov Reconsiders Crypto Ban

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In the letter

  • India’s finance minister said the government is encouraging a crypto experimentation window.
  • Indian crypto industry officials told Decrypt it could mean a total ban is off the table.

After much speculation about whether India will introduce a general crypto ban, the government has finally dropped an important hint that it will not. Representatives of the Indian crypto industry told Decrypt that their constructive commitment to the government has paid off.

Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister, said yesterday on Indian business channel CNBC-TV18 that the government’s position on crypto is being “calibrated” and wants to ensure that “a window is available for all kinds of experiments in the crypto world”. ”

“There are a lot of negotiations and discussions going on about cryptocurrency with the Reserve Bank of India,” she said.[India’s Central Bank] I’ll take a call about what kind of unofficial cryptocurrency to be planned and how to regulate it. “

“So we’re not closing our thoughts, we’re certainly looking for ways in which experiments in the digital world, in cryptocurrency, etc. can take place.”

An exception for blockchain tech

In January, the Indian Parliament presented the “Cryptocurrency Bill and Regulation of the Official Digital Currencies Act, 2021”.

The bill didn’t say much except that it seeks to ban all “private cryptocurrencies”, with certain unnamed exceptions (“to promote the underlying technology of the cryptocurrency and its uses”) and establish a framework for a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

That caused a lot of fear in the Indian crypto industry. The exceptions in the bill were only granted for blockchain technology, while cryptocurrencies continued to be hawkish.

As Decrypt reported last month after announcing the bill, several top industry leaders were coordinating efforts to fight a total ban and push for a regulatory approach instead. Sitharaman’s statement yesterday was pretty much what the industry was hoping for, they told Decrypt.

Crypto ban no longer?

Nischal Shetty, CEO of Crypto Exchange WazirX, told Decrypt that the Indian crypto industry sees this as the clearest sign so far that the government will not introduce a general ban on cryptocurrencies as previously feared.

I think @nsitharaman has just won the entire crypto sector in India with this clarity it has given

India will calibrate crypto

The people of India are getting ready for innovation and profit.

Crypto Innovation: Here We Come 🚀 # IndiaWantsCrypto https://t.co/4wFIPPFHOd

– Nischal (WazirX) is (isNischalShetty) March 5, 2021

“It’s amazing news for the Indian crypto industry,” he told Decrypt. “Our finance minister has now made it clear that India will not ban crypto.”

For Shetty and others in the crypto industry fighting a ban, the next step now is to get the government to involve the crypto industry in policymaking. “This will help formulate the right crypto rules in India,” he said.

Why did the government cool its tone?

Sidharth Sogani, CEO of the Indian crypto secret service CREBACO, told Decrypt that it was the industry’s ongoing dialogue with the government that had prevented a general ban.

Sogani, who also heads the industry’s printing group, the Association for Blockchain, Crypto, and Digital Asset Entrepreneurs (ABCE), knew there would be no sweeping restriction as the government asked “very curious questions” which this signaled a careful one The test is carried out taking into account the legal framework.

According to Sohail Merchant, CEO of Indian crypto exchange PocketBits, the Indian government has viewed crypto as an inevitable global trend as mainstream institutions flock to the crypto space.

PocketBits is one of the members of the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Committee (BACC) which is part of the Association of Internet and Mobile Telecommunications Associations of India (IAMAI). BACC has advocated a legal framework rather than an outright ban.

“The Indian government recognizes that crypto is being introduced worldwide by companies like PayPal, Tesla and world-class banks,” Merchant told Decrypt. He believes the best scenario is for the bill to be referred to a standing committee to discuss and amend it to create a legal framework that is what he calls “India’s edge in fintech ” designated.

“The world expects innovations from us.”

Day 855

Crypto is a $ 1.5 billion market. It is ready to grow 10 times to 15 tons in ten years.

If India does not participate, India will lose a large market to other countries.

Crypto can help India achieve its $ 5 billion economic goal.

Let’s compete and let our economy grow 🚀 # IndiaWantsCrypto

– Nischal (WazirX) is (isNischalShetty) March 5, 2021

For others in the crypto industry, however, this is less the global influence than the logical conclusion of an inward-looking political platform. Sumit Gupta, CEO and Co-Founder of CoinDCX, told Decrypt that the Finance Minister’s “statement is a sign of the government’s determination to digitize India and make us Atmanirbhar,” referring to the doctrine of Prime Minister Narendra Modi about a “self-sufficient India”. ”

The latest announcement is part of a global trend or island location and is meant to calm the regulatory FUD of India Crypto.