Thursday, September 23, 2021

Business

Indian Government to Rethink Crypto Currency Ban, Industry Reports Say

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | June 23, 2021 02:19 PM

A couple of draft Bills seeking a complete ban on cryptocurrencies in India failed for different reasons. Now, Central authorities are considering a committee that would propose a regulation of crypto assets and blockchain technology. Digital industry experts welcome the move, pointing to growing global relevance and business opportunities for desi tech startups.

Crypto Regulation Expected to Empower Digital Economy

 The growing importance of the crypto economy and blockchain technology has never been far from the Government’s attention. Admittedly, previous legislation attempts all contemplated full bans on such assets. One was overturned in the Supreme Court, the other draft Bill never saw its promotion in Parliament.

Now, the Centre is thinking about setting up an expert panel with the task of developing a regulatory framework for crypto currencies, digital assets and blockchain technology in a wider sense. While not an official turnaround, a regulation might provide a vital push for tech businesses across the Union.

 Regulating blockchain technology will allow popular internet-based services like e-trading, online lottery India and indigenous financial technology to operate freely and with a vision for growth. Desi tech startups have been hoping for a clearer regulation in the digital sector for a few years, while business models based on blockchain technology have seen a growing interest from foreign investors.

It is not only cryptocurrencies that would be affected by such potential regulation. Yet, as  noted in his SEOCon Indonesia intervention, payment providers and channels are a top concern for online gambling models and cricket betting platforms like 10Cric. Prominent in the daily lives of millions of Indians, mobile games will get a more stable and safe payment method with the official recognition and regulation of crypto assets.

Apparently, government sources confirm that upcoming legislation should seek to set some legal definitions on crypto assets and blockchain technology and not just digital currency markets. 

A Change of Mind Justified by Planning 

The expert committee is reported to assume tasks ranging from reviewing crypto business models already operating in India to an integrated vision of a Bharat national digital currency. The latter was recently spoken about, albeit tentatively, by Reserve Bank of India officials. 

These plans come at a time when the global cryptocurrency market has surpassed 200 million users, with 15 million active only in India. Nationwide, the number of blockchain startups has tripled since 2018 to over 300. These tech startups have gone way beyond the simple use and trading of digital money and want to see blockchain gain some official recognition. 

Somewhat surprisingly, even the former Finance Secretary, Subhash Garg – who notoriously drafted the Bill proposing a complete crypto ban back in 2019 – has gone on record in defense of a clear regulation for the crypto market. 

Citing a lack of clarity at the time, the former Minister expresses his support for the regulation of crypto assets and services. Whether these digital currencies will remain to compete with India’s digital payment system is another story. Clearly, however, crypto assets and blockchain technology are now seen as conducive to the nation’s business climate in the digital sector. These trends all point to the need of granting a formal recognition to the technology’s importance and its potential for the Union economy.

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