India's new crypto regulations are ready for the monsoon session of parliament, says the country's Finance Minister

India's new crypto regulations are ready for the monsoon session of parliament, says the country's Finance Minister
India's Finance Minister, Nirmala SitharamanBCCL
  • India’s crypto bill has been in the works for over two years now.
  • The bill was earlier expected in the Budget session of the Parliament. It recommended banning of private cryptocurrencies and was supposed to layout a framework for digital currency by the RBI.
  • Crypto exchanges in India had to stop taking rupee deposits in the past.
India is inching closer to regulating cryptocurrencies within its borders. The country’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman told The Hindu that India’s crypto bill is ready and the government has taken inputs from industry stakeholders to prepare the document.

“We have done a lot of work on it. We have taken stakeholders’ inputs. The Cabinet note is ready. We have to see when the Cabinet can take it up and consider it so that then we can move it," she said in her interview.

TOP VIDEOS FOR YOU
That could mean that the new laws to regulate cryptocurrencies in India could be up for debate during the next session of the Parliament, which is set to kick off on July 19.

Advertisement
The bill was also listed for the Budget session of the Parliament — which takes place from February to March — but wasn’t tabled at the time, possibly because the session had to be cut short due to the second COVID-19 wave that hit the country at the time.

From our side, I think one or two indications that I have given is that at least for fintech, experiment and pilot projects a window will be available. The Cabinet will have to make a decision.

Nirmala Sitharaman, India's Finance Minister, told The Hindu Business Line

The Indian government's stance on crypto remains unclear

The bill that was expected to debut during the Budget session of Parliament was expected to pitch for a ban on all 'private cryptocurrencies', and also lay out the framework for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) — or a digital version of the rupee.
Advertisement


At the time, many expected that the bill would be a version of the regulations seen in a draft legislation that was announced back in 2019, which banned most crypto exchanges and firms in the country.

But, the government has flip flopped on its stance when it comes to digital currencies. In the past, Sitharaman has said that the government is considering a 'calibrated' approach to crypto.

Things came to a head in May though, when an informal guidance from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) led banks to withdraw services from cryptocurrency exchanges.
Advertisement

As a result, crypto exchanges in India had to stop taking rupee deposits from users. While workarounds have been found by many exchanges, there’s still confusion about how Indians will trade in crypto in the future. Some banks had also sent out warnings to users who had dealt with crypto exchanges.

According to a report by crypto research firm Chainalysis, investments in crypto grew from $200 million in 2019 to $40 billion in 2020, signalling huge interest in digital currencies. But experts, industry stakeholders and users remain confused about what the future of these currencies will be in the country.

For a more in-depth discussion, come on over to Business Insider Cryptosphere — a forum where users can deep dive into all things crypto, engage in interesting discussions and stay ahead of the curve.
Advertisement

SEE ALSO:
One of the oldest Bitcoin websites on the net was hit by ransomware, and hackers want their payment in Bitcoin
A startup that earned ₹15 crore selling juices in India’s suburbs is now looking at international expansion
{{}}