India Minister Suggests Modi Government Not Planning Outright Crypto Ban

A recent bulletin from India's lower house had once more raised fears of an total cryptocurrency ban.

AccessTimeIconFeb 2, 2021 at 3:19 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 11:05 a.m. UTC

The Indian government has hinted how it might move to regulate cryptocurrencies rather than an outright ban.

Talking in the nation's upper house, the Rajya Sabha, Tuesday, a minister specified that the aim would be to curb illicit cryptocurrency transactions and bar their use in payments.

"The government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coins and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system," Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said during a question and answer session.

The Indian crypto community was alarmed on Friday after a bulletin from India's lower house (the Lok Sabha) revealed the government's plans to begin consideration of the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, seeking a ban on "private cryptocurrencies." The bulletin, however, did not define the terms, leaving the doors open for interpretation.

While the latest comments offer some clarity on the government's plans, the bill's contents are still unknown.

India's cryptocurrency industry has been resurgent since the central bank's ban on banking services for digital asset firms was overturned by the Supreme Court last spring.

Thakur's response also indicated the government is "proactively" exploring blockchain technology to "usher in the digital economy."

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