India’s Minister of Finance Says Cryptocurrency Bill is Designed To Protect Investors
India's crypto tale might not end anytime soon. In the latest episode, the country's Minister of State Finance and Corporate Affairs has commented on the government's crypto position.
Crypto Bill To Protect Investors
India’s Minister of State Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur spoke on the reasonable steps the government may take to regulate crypto in the Asian nation.
According to Thakur, the government only intends to protect crypto investors from the underlying volatility surrounding cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. BTC -3.60% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 42,516.44
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Thakur said the price fluctuations of cryptocurrencies relative to fiat were high and disturbing, which could negatively impact investors.
Accordingly, the government would frame regulations focused on protecting these investors from this volatility. However, he did not state how the government intends to achieve this.
The Indian crypto narrative has been fraught with a lot of counter-intuitive hints from government officials.
With some supporting an outright ban and the creation of a digital rupee to address growing market needs. Others have called for a more temperate regulatory framework to encourage the nascent industry. And as with all things political and diplomatic, much of the masses have been left in the dark.
According to the Finance Minister, the crypto bill was scheduled to be heard by the lower chamber of the Indian parliament on April 8 but was postponed due to the ongoing elections in the country.
This continued suspense is seeing a lot of crypto-facing businesses and enthusiasts getting tensed and agitated.
But some industry experts in the crypto space are pointing to Thakur's comments as a light in the night. To them, the government may be considering something in the angle of a “circuit breaker,” which will see limits introduced on the number of transactions that could be done in Bitcoin exchanges. They believe this is a sign that the government may be considering a regulation rather than an outright ban of emerging technology.
But others feel this is not the case.
Dark Days Ahead for India's Crypto Space
Founder of crypto fantasy trading app SuperStox Zakhil Suresh pointed to the ambiguity surrounding the minister’s message. According to Suresh, the minister is interested only in protecting crypto investors from cryptocurrencies and not protecting crypto investors.
“What if that ‘protection’ is actually in the form of … keeping people away from crypto?” Suresh told news outlet Decrypt.
He also said that the minister declined to comment on whether or not the government was considering a ban on cryptocurrencies in its draft bill. To him, this is frustrating and unnecessary.
The growing consternation concerning the crypto bill is understandable given that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been a staunch supporter of a crypto ban.
In a 2018 blanket ban on crypto, the Indian government stopped all crypto activities in the country.
Although it was later overruled in a Supreme Court judgment in 2020, the fight has continued with a 2019 anti-crypto bill recommending harsh measures like jailing crypto investors for up to ten years.
For now, the saga continues.