India’s Finance Minister says crypto bill is ready for the Cabinet

By: Jinia Shawdagor
Jinia Shawdagor
Jinia is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Sweden. She loves everything positive, travelling, and extracting joy and… read more.
on Jul 7, 2021
  • Per Nirmala Sitharaman, all that remains is presenting the bill in the Cabinet once it resumes.
  • If the bill passes into law, India might ban private cryptos and create regulations for a CBDC.
  • India’s crypto market grew from $200 million to $40 billion in 2020 despite regulatory uncertainty.

India is one step closer to establishing regulations to govern the crypto sector after Nirmala Sitharaman, the country’s Finance Minister, said the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021 is ready. Sitharaman shared this information during an interview on July 1, saying that the government considered the input of stakeholders in the bill’s preparation. Reportedly, the next step is presenting the bill in the Cabinet.

In the interview, Sitharaman pointed out that new elements will soon be introduced in the country’s regulatory framework.

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She added that,

From our side, I think one or two indications that I have given is that at least for fintech, experiment and pilot projects a window will be available. The Cabinet will have to take a decision.

With this update, Indian lawmakers are set to discuss the implementation of crypto regulations in the next parliament session, which is scheduled to start on July 19. However, it is worth noting that this is not the first time India is planning to present its crypto bill in parliament. Reportedly, the bill was listed to be discussed in the budget session of parliament in February and March. However, the nationwide restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic rendered this objective untenable.

Indians continue investing in BTC despite hostile rules

India’s wavering stance on cryptos initially saw it ban the use of digital currencies. While the country lifted this ban, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) prohibited all banks from offering crypto exchanges services. To this end, all crypto payments in India cannot accept payments in rupees.

Nonetheless, this has not prevented Indians from embracing cryptocurrencies. Reportedly, the Indian crypto market grew from $200 million (£144.93 million) to $40 billion (£28.99 billion) in the past year. The country is also home to renowned projects such as Polygon, formerly known as Matic, and the WazirX crypto exchange.

With the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021 well on its way to the parliament, industry experts have varying projections on its outcome. However, a common belief is that if the bill passes into law, India might ban all private cryptocurrencies. On top of this, experts believe the country might create a regulatory framework for a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

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