India Reverses Crypto Stance, Considers Classifying Bitcoin As An Asset Class: Report
After years of India's hostile stance towards cryptocurrencies, the country is reportedly looking to classify Bitcoin as an asset class.
India's Financial Regulator SEBI To Oversee Crypto Sector
According to reports by The New Indian Press, the government has decided to skip its plans to ban cryptocurrencies and consider Bitcoin's classification as an asset class.
Sources quoted by the publication disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) would regulate the crypto space.
Currently, stakeholders in India's crypto industry are reportedly in talks with the finance ministry regarding regulating cryptocurrencies.
The inside sources also claim that a cryptocurrency Regulation bill is likely to be tabled at the upcoming Monsoon session of the Parliament.
India's move to classify Bitcoin as an asset class comes on the heels of El Salvador, which recently became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender.
The country’s congress voted in favor of the bill submitted by Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele.
Is India Really Switching From Its Hostile Stance Towards Crypto?
This latest development in India shows that the government is gradually moving away from its controversial stance towards digital assets.
However, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) remains indifferent. This is no surprise, as the RBI has always been a staunch critic of digital assets. It once warned the public against cryptocurrencies, calling them a major concern that can cause financial instability.
The Governor of RBI Shaktikanta Das recently said that he was not reversing the bank’s rules as the government still had issues about digital assets. Das said,
“There is no change in RBI's position (regarding cryptocurrencies). And, with regards to RBI's position, we have major concerns about cryptocurrencies, which we have conveyed to the government. With regard to investors, it is for each investor to do his own due diligence and take a very careful and prudent call.”
Das made this statement as a response to the bank's recent circular directing banks to stop avoiding transactions involving virtual tokens. It also reiterated its 2018 circular where it banned commercial banks from facilitating cryptocurrency transactions.
Although the Supreme Court challenged the circular at first, it later reversed its decision in March 2020.