Zebpay says India may toughen rules, not outright ban

India is set to propose a new crypto bill in Parliament, and investors are trying to understand what this might mean for the future of virtual currencies in South Asia’s largest economy.

Lawmakers may eventually choose to impose strict regulations on the cryptocurrency market rather than impose a total ban on private currencies, according to a senior executive of Zebpay, one of India’s largest crypto exchanges.

“I think we’ll have some sort of coherent regulation, but on the stricter side,” Avinash Shekhar, Zebpay’s co-CEO, told CNBC.Squawk Box Asia” Thursday.

a Parliamentary Bulletin On November 23, he showed that the government plans to introduce a new bill aimed at regulating cryptocurrency when Parliament begins its winter session, which begins on Monday.

Through this act, India seeks to ban most private cryptocurrencies as well as create a framework for creating an official digital currency issued by the Reserve Bank of India. However, it will allow “some exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies and their uses,” the bulletin said.

… The sense we get from the government is that they are looking for some kind of regulation, strict regulation, but not complete ban.

The central bank is Looking at the digital Indian rupee maybe He is said to have fired a pilot in the second quarter of 2022.

Shekhar told CNBC that in the past eight to nine months, the government’s stance on crypto has changed after officials consulted with various stakeholders including cryptocurrency exchange operators.

“There was a lot of positive sentiment from the government. We met with the Finance Committee in Parliament about two weeks ago,” he said. “The message or sentiment we get from the government is that they are looking for some kind of regulation – strict regulation, but not a complete ban.”

In March, India was studying a law that would ban cryptocurrencies and would fine anyone trading in the country or even owning such digital assets. Reuters reported, citing a senior government official.

Since then, New Delhi has changed its stance a bit and is now trying to discourage trading in cryptocurrencies by imposing huge capital gains and other taxes, According to the news agency.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi This month gave a keyword In the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Sydney Dialogue he said that all democracies should work together on cryptocurrency “to ensure that it does not fall into the wrong hands, potentially spoiling our youth.”

When Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Hindustan Times asked him She reportedly said that if India is to have its own cryptocurrency, “we have to be careful; but we have to think about it.”

Zebpay’s Shekhar said that officials were talking about strict regulations because they “clearly want to control this and not allow cryptocurrency to become currency, so to speak.”

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He explained that the potential regulations should meet the needs of retail investors in India – while there is no official data currently available, media reports indicate that there are approximately 15-20 million crypto investors in the country.

“The other aspect, which is not talked about much, is innovation in technology,” Shekhar said, adding that many innovators are still waiting to enter the cryptocurrency market.

“With regulation coming in, I think this will be a key area where I think billions of dollars of companies will be created in India,” he added.

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