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Smart crypto policy could keep India's tech dominance on top

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CoinTelegraph

Tue, Dec 07, 2021

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There’s no denying that the Indian government shares a contentious relationship with cryptocurrencies, as was made clear recently when the government indicated that it plans on banning all private cryptocurrencies — a list that could potentially include just about every digital asset in the market today — after it had previously lifted all such restrictions back in 2019.

To elaborate, it is expected that as the government reconvenes for its Winter Session, it will discuss the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021, which as the name suggests, seeks to create a legislative framework wherein all private cryptocurrencies can potentially be banned.

On the other hand, Naimish Sanghvi, founder of crypto news website Coin Crunch India, thinks that the Indian government’s definition of a private asset could expand to include pretty much every crypto in the market, stating : “In the 2019 Department of Economic Affairs report on cryptocurrency, they essentially said that everything that is non-sovereign is designated as a private cryptocurrency.

And by that logic, it means that Bitcoin and Ethereum will come into that definition.” Nischal Shetty, CEO of Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX, told Cointelegraph that it is hard to comprehend what the government means by private cryptocurrencies, especially since prominent assets like Bitcoin ( BTC ) and Ether ( ETH ) are essentially public cryptos that have been built atop transparent blockchain infrastructures — with each project featuring its very own set of specific use cases.

First, the Parliamentary Standing Committee invited a public consultation, and then our Prime Minister himself came forward to call for crypto regulations in India.” Sumit Gupta, CEO of cryptocurrency trading platform CoinDCX, told Cointelegraph that there is no official label for a private cryptocurrency anywhere else in the world — and so now, the public eagerly awaits the Indian government’s definition of a private asset.

Crypto is a powerful trend that is shaping economies around the world, and we remain confident that our policymakers will formulate regulations that will enable our economy to reap the full benefits the global crypto industry has to offer.” When asked about the possibility of an all-out ban rearing its ugly head once again, Shetty noted that it is best to wait and find out more about the bill.

Shetty alluded to the comprehensive Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidelines that were proposed at this year’s G20 summit which stated that crypto is not a threat to the local economy of any country, adding: “A blanket ban will also lead to an increase in OTC markets, fake exchanges and brain drain from India.

The crypto industry is open to being regulated, but a blanket ban is something that will harm the entire country’s financial and technology ecosystem.” Similarly, Gupta is willing to welcome any bill, as it assures that policymakers are beginning to acknowledge the importance of this new asset class, as well as the growing appetite from retail and institutional investors in India.

Not only that, the note reportedly specifies that investors will be given a set amount of time in order to declare their crypto holdings as well store them in platforms that are regulated by the SEBI — a move that suggests private wallet operators may be banned completely from operating within the region.

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