A panel reporting to India's Finance Ministry suggested the country's regulators have an "open mind" about a governmental cryptocurrency and, at the same time, proposed fines and up to ten years in prison for general use of crypto in the country.
The panel, created by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and the Reserve Bank of India, found that there was serious concern with the "mushrooming of cryptocurrencies almost invariably issued abroad and numerous people in India investing in these," according to the report.
"All these cryptocurrencies have been created by non-sovereigns," they complained.
On the other hand, they saw a cryptocurrency created by the RBI could be a boon for the country and that regulators should consider creating a sovereign cryptocurrency.
"The Committee recommends that the RBI examine the utility of using DLT based systems for enabling faster and more secure payment infrastructure, especially for cross-border payments,” they wrote. “The Committee recommends that blockchain based systems may be considered by MEITY for building a low-cost KYC system that reduces the need for duplication of KYC requirements for individuals.”
The committee also saw value in the use of distributed ledgers in land deeds that could be "beneficial for removing errors and frauds in land markets if the technology is implemented for maintaining land records."
That said, 10 years in jail for stacking some sats sounds like a decidedly unlikely - and unfair - outcome of the committees' assessment. Perhaps Indian authorities will soon discover that crypto, like the internet, tends to route around damage.
Image via Shutterstock.
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