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Centre to regulate ‘Cryptocurrency’, not ban

According to industry sources, the new draft of the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, brings regulation rather than ban. The crypto stakeholders requested regulation to prevent corrupt activities, and the Bill is likely to be amended, they noted.

On Tuesday it was learned that the Centre could introduce a Bill in the winter session of Parliament to ban all cryptocurrencies in India, with a few exceptions, and create a framework to control digital currency issued by the Reserve Bank of India. Following this, all major digital currencies saw a fall of around 15 per cent and more, with Bitcoin down by around 18.53 per cent, Ethereum fell by 15.58 per cent, and Tether down by 18.29 per cent.

But as the news of regulation of Cryptocurrency, not ban, came out, markets seem to be stabilising.

Cryptocurrency has had a tumultuous connection with India. In 2018, the RBI had put a ban on it, citing “severe concerns” about private cryptocurrencies.

The ban was then overturned by the Supreme Court in 2020, and now, in 2021, industry stakeholders and the Centre are negotiating to bring in a regulation that will put an end to corrupt activities.

India has roughly Rs 6 lakh crore in crypto assets, according to the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council. The Standing Committee on Finance, chaired by BJP member Jayant Sinha, met with officials from Cryptocurrency exchanges, blockchain, and the Crypto Assets Council (BACC) last week and came to the conclusion that cryptocurrencies should not be prohibited, but rather regulated.

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