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India: New Bill Seeks to Introduce CBDC, Ban ‘Private’ Cryptocurrencies

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India: New Bill Seeks to Introduce CBDC, Ban ‘Private’ Cryptocurrencies

India continues to see-saw its stance toward cryptocurrencies.

India Mulling Banning ‘Private’ Cryptocurrencies, Launching CBDC

According to the Lok Sabha Bulletin published on January 29, the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, aims to stop the trading of digital currencies in India. Simultaneously, the bill also seeks a central bank digital currency (CBDC) issued by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India.

The Indian Parliament is now considering introducing a government-backed bill that would put a ban on cryptocurrencies in its upcoming budget session. Notably, India’s Finance Minister, Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman is slated to announce the National Budget for 2021-22 on February 1.

It is worthy of note that while the bill is anti-private cryptocurrencies in nature, it will, however, allow certain exceptions to promote the use of the technology that undergirds cryptocurrencies.

Should the bill be passed by the Indian Parliament, it would make India the only major Asian economic powerhouse to adopt an anti-crypto stance in contrast to other neighboring countries, including Pakistan that are making attempts to regulate digital currencies just like corporate stocks.

Notable personalities from the India cryptocurrency ecosystem took to Twitter to their thoughts on the proposed bill.

Founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange WazirX, Nischal Shetty urged Indians to not panic.

Similarly, crypto exchange CoinDCX Co-founder and CEO, Sumit Gupta tweeted that the bill is currently only in the introductory stage and will require to pass through the official procedure of multiple approvals before it becomes a law.

Gupta also highlighted the fact that Bitcoin and Ethereum are widely considered to be public cryptocurrencies because of their open and transparent nature. Therefore, it would be a little premature to assume what the government exactly means by ‘private’ and ‘public’ cryptocurrencies until the terms are explicitly defined.

India Losing Out on Crypto

As mentioned earlier, neighboring Asian countries such as Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, and others are actively seeking to establish laws that would make regulation of cryptocurrencies easier.

India on the other hand, seems to think otherwise.

In fact, this is not the first time that India is seeking to tighten the noose around cryptocurrency trading. As previously reported by BTCManager, the Indian government was planning to introduce a federal ban to put a lasting ban on cryptocurrencies.