India will launch a digital rupee in the next year and plans a 30% tax on crypto-related income, according to the finance minister
- The Indian government will roll out a digital currency over the coming year, the finance minister said.
- India previously suggested banning
crypto, but now plans to regulate and taxit, the minister said.
- India is a major digital trading hub, with an estimated 15 to 20 million crypto investors.
India appears to be warming up to cryptocurrencies, with an announcement by the finance minister on Tuesday of plans for a digital currency rolled out by the central bank, along with a framework to regulate and tax crypto assets.
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, as part of her annual budget speech, said the central bank would aim to roll out a digital rupee in the coming fiscal year. This marks a major U-turn for the government, which had signaled it could ban cryptocurrencies outright, until the upper house of parliament clarified that digital assets should be kept on exchanges and monitored correctly by a market regulator.
"The introduction of a central bank digital currency will give a big boost to the digital economy. Digital currency will also lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system," Sitharaman said.
According to its budget plans, the government will impose a 30% tax on income from cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, as well as apply a 1% tax deduction at source on payments related to purchasing such assets.
Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) offer a centralized, official alternative to pure cryptocurrencies. Major central banks, such as the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank are all looking into developing their own digital currencies.
But it is the emerging economies where progress is actually happening. China already has a digital yuan in circulation through various pilot programs, putting it several years ahead of G7 central banks in this respect.
The effect of India creating an official digital currency, along with a framework for crypto trading and investment could be significant. The 2021 Global Crypto Market Adoption Index from
Read more: 'Hodlers' last stand': Crypto experts at a major exchange say bitcoin and ethereum can still avoid a bear market. Here are the 4 key things they say you need to watch to figure out what's next
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