The long-awaited digital currency bill was originally due to be presented to parliament last week. However, the introduction was delayed, which the minister attributed to local elections. “The fluctuations in the price of cryptocurrencies are so high—unlike that of fiat currencies—and that has an impact on the investors. So we need to keep investor protection in mind while framing a law.”
Despite the protestations of ministers, the digital currency community in India remains sceptical of the government’s intentions. The eventual measures are expected to follow on from the government’s harsh approach to the sector in previous rounds of draft proposals, including criminal penalties of up to 10 years in prison for the direct or indirect use of digital currencies.
There is also the suggestion the law could be introduced directly by the Indian President by ordinance, though this is thought the less likely route. The digital currency community now awaits the Indian government’s next move.
The bill is now expected to be presented in the summer session of parliament, further deferring the impacts of the long-trailed legislation. Zakhil Suresh, founder of SuperStox, said there were suspicions the government was reserving the option to ban digital currency outright: “The minister was specifically asked whether the government considered banning crypto or not but he dodged the question. Why build so much suspense around this? Just say what you’re planning to do—just as the government does with most other bills.”
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