Indian Govt. Backpedddling Bitcoin Ban? New Panel Planned to Study Crypto Regulations

The government of India may form a new panel of experts to study the regulation around cryptocurrencies in the country, reported the local publication citing sources privy to the discussions.

A committee headed by former finance secretary, Subhash Garg in 2019, had recommended a blanket ban on crypto-assets which has now been seen as outdated. An official in the know of the matter said,

“There is a view within the government that the recommendations made by the Subhash Garg are dated, and a fresh look is needed at use of cryptos rather than a total ban.”

The new committee might explore the use of blockchain for technological advancement and suggest ways to regulate cryptos along with the digital rupee. The discussions are currently at an early stage, and no formal resolution has yet been passed.

Reportedly, the finance ministry was monitoring the growing volume of crypto training in the country. Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur, a crypto proponent and could be a part of the committee, had earlier met with members from the crypto and banking industry forums regarding potential supervisory risks.

While the news of India banning crypto continues to come out and rattle the market, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has voiced out her support for the industry, saying recently that the government would take a “calibrated” approach in regulating cryptocurrency instead of imposing an outright ban.

The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, which proposed criminalizing trading and holding crypto assets, was scheduled to be tabled in the Budget session of Parliament in March but was deferred for unknown reasons.

It is, however, now widely expected that the draft bill based on the Garg committee recommendations will be tabled in the upcoming monsoon session.

This positive news came amidst the market volatility while at the same time the same old China banning Bitcoin made an appearance for the Umpteenth time.

As we reported, this was nothing new, and the self-regulating bodies were reiterating their stance from 2017. The statement compiled by industry associations and not government officials has no new regulatory steps.

“They just want caution,” said Bobby Lee, founder, and chief executive officer of crypto storage provider Ballet. “They feel the market is over-hyped, there’s speculative trading, they’re looking out for the best interests of the people.”

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