In this year’s budget announcement, the Indian government proposed its plan to introduce its own digital currency and ban all other cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. The government is ready to present ‘Cryptocurrency and the Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021’ in the parliament soon. According to the proposed bill, the law would prohibit all private cryptocurrencies from operating in the country. Apart from this, the government also aims to create a facilitative framework for the RBI-backed Central Bank Digital Currency. The Lok Sabha Bulletin also mentioned that the bill would offer certain exemptions and “promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.”
According to certain estimates, 7 million Indians possess crypto assets currently worth 1 billion USD. The news of the crypto ban has upset many Indian crypto investors, crypto exchange owners, and the crypto community. At the same time, Indian crypto investors are weighing their options and are considering opting for peer-to-peer transfer methods to either dispose or hold their crypto assets. Cryptocurrency exchanges, on the other hand, have begun reaching out to the government to prevent them from completely prohibiting all other private cryptocurrencies.
Nischal Shetty, the founder of India’s largest crypto exchange – WazirX, states that if cryptocurrency is banned in India, it will demonstrate two kinds of effects based on the economic sections of the country. Nischal Shetty wrote on Twitter that the rich would continue benefitting from crypto assets by making investments from offshore foreign exchanges. But middle-class citizens would not be able to invest in crypto and stay behind in the crypto race. The proposal comes at a time when several cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Dogecoin have seen a massive surge in their value. Bitcoin has crossed the $50,000 mark for the first time after acquiring a massive investment from Elon Musk’s Tesla. Shetty said that even WazirX witnessed a rise in sign-ups following Musk’s investment. He also shared his thoughts regarding the impact the crypto ban is supposed to create in another tweet. A Crypto ban would be equal to a prohibition of the financial internet. It would also cause a trillion-dollar market loss, millions of job losses, and destruction of wealth worth billions. He also believes that other nations would race ahead while India would lag.
In 2018, WazirX’s founder, Nischal Shetty, began the Twitter campaign #IndiaWantsCrypto when the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) issued a circular to prevent banks from doing business with crypto startups. The campaign managed to reach out to over 10 million people, including TV shows, newspapers, politicians, lawmakers, and common masses. On the 489th day of the campaign, IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India) won the court battle when the Supreme Court of India ruled in favor of the crypto community.
The #IndiaWantsCrypto campaign again caught momentum with the Indian FM’s (Finance Minister) proposal of banning other cryptocurrencies in the nation. The campaign was on its 837th day on February 15th, 2021, when Balajis.com showed its support for the ongoing campaign. Several email campaigns are also being run to gather supporters.
Financial experts believe that the government should regulate cryptocurrencies instead of banning them altogether. This is because crypto banning would curb the Indian economy’s growth influenced by the technologically advanced cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrencies and digital currencies are the future of world economies. Therefore, it is indispensable for India to be in the race and embrace this newer form of the currency system. According to officials, the government will give crypto investors time to transfer their funds and assets. Follow this space to learn more about what’s happening on this front and know what the cryptocurrency bill has in stock for everyone once the parliament members are debriefed about it.