It was earlier reported that the Union government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is planning to come up with a bill that wants people to voluntarily declare all the crypto assets or face huge penalties. To everyone’s shock the Modi government seems to be taking stringent action against people who are holding cryptocurrency!
The Union government will give crypto holders a deadline to declare their assets. So that they can meet any new rules, according to the sources asking not to be identified as the discussions are private. Authorities are planning to classify cryptocurrencies as financial assets and the Indian government is considering appointing its capital markets regulator.
But the latest news that the Union government was delaying the bill and will not present in the Parliament in this winter session has turned out to be a surprise since it seemed that the centre was seriously considering a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has repeatedly warned cryptocurrency could pose ‘serious concerns on macroeconomic and financial stability,’ while PM Modi in November said cryptocurrencies could ‘spoil our youth.’ The government has also warned that unregulated crypto markets could become avenues for money laundering, fraud and terror financing.
India has become one of the biggest markets in Asia for cryptocurrencies and one of the fastest growing in the world. The country has 15 home-grown cryptocurrency exchange platforms. Between 15 and 20 million people in India are estimated to own cryptocurrencies, with holdings totalling approximately $6 billion, industry figures indicate. The market for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology has surged significantly in recent years, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, when much of the country's population was forced to stay at home.
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The Indian government had a strong stance against cryptocurrencies at the beginning of this year and suggested that it could even go on to impose a blanket ban. Since then, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman showed the intent of regulating crypto and even classifying it as a digital asset. Has the finance minister’s intent changed the thought process of the Union government and hence the bill is being delayed?
The Crypto Bill was a part of the 26 bills that the government plans to introduce in the winter session. But it is now confirmed that the bill was unlikely to be introduced in the winter session of the Parliament and maybe at later time!
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