During the budget session on January 29, an agenda was published by the lower house of parliament concerning the Indian government’s plan to introduce the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, which aims to ban all private cryptocurrencies to pave the way for the eventual introduction of digital money by the Reserve Bank of India.
In reaction to this plan, the cryptocurrency community in India took to social media to express their confusion and for the government to clarify what the term ‘private’ entails.
Nischal Shetty, the founder of one of India’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges WazirX, shared in a tweet that cryptocurrencies are not private due to their nature.
‘Cryptos, by their very nature, are decentralised and public,’ stated Shetty.
CEO of ZebPay, one of the largest exchange platforms for bitcoins and cryptos in India, Rahul Pagidipati said the success of the bill depends on its details.
‘Its success will depend on the details, particularly the definition of what the bill calls “private cryptocurrencies.” This is not a common term. Bitcoin is not privately owned by anyone. It is a public good, like the internet.’
‘Millions of Indians already invested in this new asset class, and millions more want the same opportunity to build wealth that investors in other countries already have. We have faith in the government and hope that this bill will move India forwards, not backwards.’
Kumar Gaurav, founder and CEO of Cashaa, an online banking platform that manages fiat and crypto indicated in a statement that banning cryptocurrencies is not possible because it’s global.
‘Understanding that cryptocurrency is a global and decentralized system, there is no way any government can ban it. That would require that kind of technology and control, which technically does not rest with anyone. They can certainly ban the legitimate use of crypto which will only make it difficult for a common person who does not understand it to get involved in it,’ stated Gaurav in one of his tweets.
Meanwhile, cryptocurrency startups in India are wary of the ban because it can affect investors and people employed in the nascent sector. The leading cryptocurrency exchange in India BuyUcoin CEO Shivam Thakral urges the government to hear the side of the investors concerning the matter of the bill.
‘We urge the government to take the opinion of all the stakeholders before taking a decision which may affect the livelihood of the entire workforce employed in the digital asset industry in India.’
The bill drafted by the Indian parliament concerning the nature of and the extent to which the government will regulate cryptocurrencies in India will be made clear only after the bill is made public.
Co-founder and chief executive of cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX, Sumit Gupta said in a note ‘Since the government is considering introducing the bill during this session of Parliament, we are sure the government will definitely listen to all the stakeholders before taking any decision.’
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