Explained: What is Cryptocurrency in India
Way back when Bitcoin was invented, India was the first country to acknowledge it as an alternative monetary system. Though India started lauding Bitcoin without knowing the plethora of scams it could encourage, the political and economic conditions in the country were favorable for Bitcoin to thrive. However, the recent trends show that India is becoming the first country on the globe to regulate the cryptocurrency.
The effects of demonetization
When the Reserve Bank of India announced the demonetization of 500 and 1000 rupee currency notes on November 8, 2016, the Indian public started realizing that cash was unreliable. During that time, the scenario gave a great impetus for the young people in the country to turn to Bitcoin. In fact around this time, a sizeable chunk of the corporate world in the country was already using Bitcoin. Since the digital coin gave a safer system for the public to invest their money, a growing number of people started resorting to the use of Bitcoin.
Does not need a bank account
A large segment of the Indian population still does not have a bank account. Bitcoin enables such individual to make financial transactions quickly and securely without a bank account.
Indian companies and Bitcoin
More than 500 merchants in India and five large enterprises in the country including Dell accepted payments in cryptocurrency. This number is fast growing today. No doubt Bitcoin is still not that popular in India. A lot of Indians highly prefer paper money. However, as per the study of the emerging trends in the country, the frenzy for Bitcoin is fast spreading in the country.
Indian government and Bitcoin
Earlier in 2019, the Supreme Court of Indi came up with a four-week deadline urging the government to bring in some regulations of the cryptocurrencies in the country. The government has already taken a firm stand to deal with cryptocurrency in a strict way and looking forward to banning it. Consultations have already begun on the bill called "Banning of Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies Bill 2019". These moves by the country show us that the government of India is clear with its hostile stand against cryptocurrency.
What can happen to Bitcoin in India
Expert circles say that the country could be seen banning cryptocurrency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Meanwhile, the Ministry of corporate affairs has pointed out that those dealing with Bitcoins are falsely induced of massive returns. These schemes are not transparent and they never fall into any legal framework that are regulated. Many gullible investors are seen falling victims to a number of scams connected with Bitcoins. RBI has gone a step further to announce that it can never provide services to individuals and businesses that are dealing with Bitcoins or settling in virtual currencies.
BP Kanungo, Deputy Governor, RBI has stated, “We have decided to ring-fence the RBI regulated entities from the risk of dealing with entities associated with virtual currencies. They are required to stop having a business relationship with the entities dealing with virtual currencies forthwith and unwind the existing relationship within a period of three months".
Severe measures contemplated in India
It appears that the "Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019" draft has also on its proposal 10-year prison sentence for those individuals found mining, generating, selling, holding, transferring, disposing of, dealing with or issuing cryptocurrencies. Hence we could possibly see a ban on Bitcoins in India in the near future.