India to propose law to criminalize cryptocurrency possession and trading, says Reuters
The Indian government plans to propose a law to criminalize the entire cryptocurrency industry in the country, according to a senior Indian government official who spoke to Reuters anonymously in a publication on Sunday (14). According to him, who said he had direct knowledge of the plan, the action aims to prohibit the possession, issuance, mining, trading and transfer of cryptocurrencies.
The move is in line with the Indian government’s January agenda, which includes banning cryptocurrencies – minus adjacent Bitcoin technology, Blockchain – to build a framework for an official digital currency. They even launched a public consultation on a National Blockchain Plan prepared by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
Recent government comments, however, have raised investors’ hopes that the authorities could be less severe with the new booming market. According to the official, the project, which he said would be in the final stages, would give cryptocurrency holders up to six months to pay off their investments.
Officials are confident that the bill will pass, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government holds a comfortable majority in parliament, Reuters said.
And he added that if the ban becomes law, India will be the first big economy to make possession of cryptocurrencies illegal. China, for example, has banned trading and banned exchanges.
Even with concerns about a possible ban, the crypto market in India does not stop. At the beginning of this year, the exchange Unocoin added 20,000 users.
The discussion about banning cryptocurrencies by the government of India has been going on for at least three years, after Bitcoin showed the world its greatest market potential. In May 2018, bitcoin holders already suffered from the government’s advances to the market.