Indian Government Says Crypto Regulations Still Months AwayAug 14, 2018, 10:21AM
Clear-cut crypto regulations may be months away from Indian users. A final official discussion on the matter has been set for September 11.
An anonymous official from Narendra Modi’s government told Quartz India that the promises made by a finance ministry panel led by secretary Subhash Chandra Garg to have a set of regulatory suggestions ready for July are not going to be fulfilled. According to the informant, things are “looking difficult” right now since "there are lots of issues that need understanding and lots of studying needs to be done”.
The Indian government’s relationship with cryptocurrencies and blockchain right now is complicated, to say the least. Although banks are prohibited from doing business with cryptocurrency-related businesses, there seems to be no clear piece of legislation completely banning crypto trading. As a response to this situation, local crypto exchanges have turned to p2p trading platforms in order to bypass the banking sanctions, while other cryptocurrency businesses have tried to appeal the RBI’s decision in court.
Meanwhile, just a couple of weeks ago the Indian Law Commission published a report requested by the country’s Supreme Court in which it recommended cryptocurrencies as a valid form of payment for cricket gambling, the most popular sport in the country. The validation of crypto for such an important use case could represent an important step towards cryptocurrency adoption in India.
In recognition of blockchain tech’s potential, it seems like the main concern for the Indian government right now is how to approve the use of blockchain technologies without mixing it with cryptocurrencies, the anonymous informant told Quartz,
Blockchain is an interesting thing. We definitely want to milk it effectively for financial transactions. So all officials are really trying hard to understand how to separately use blockchain, without cryptocurrency. And understanding a new software takes time.
Regarding this topic, Ajeet Khurana, head of the blockchain and Cryptocurrency Committee of the department of economic affairs said,
A public blockchain needs to have a token and you can’t have it by excluding cryptocurrencies. Moreover, a public blockchain is analogues to the internet and no one can control it.
At the moment, the Garg-led panel has desisted from completely banning all forms of cryptocurrencies and has instead decided to re-classify them as commodities, and the final official discussion on the matter has been set for September 11 this year.
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