The drama surrounding the fate of the crypto industry in India continues to grow, as the inter-ministerial committee has now proposed a ban of crypto. While this doesn’t come as a complete shock, recent proceedings in the Parliament’s Upper House suggested that cryptocurrencies will soon be made legal in the country. The proposal is in line with a leaked Bill online, which allegedly proposed a ban on all digital tokens.
Recently, the Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Anurag Thakur had confirmed in the Rajya Sabha that crypto is not prohibited in India. He added that an inter-ministerial committee had been formed to analyze the crypto industry and lay down suitable policies for crypto trade. Instead, the committee has proposed a complete ban on digital currencies.
What’s even more grave is the fact that apart from banning digital tokens, the committee has also proposed a fine of up to a staggering Rs. 25 crores, and a prison term extending up to 10 years. Just to put in context how harsh the suggested punishment is, convicts of money laundering are imprisoned for 3-10 years. However, the committee, formed in late 2017, has also suggested that the government and the RBI must launch a regulated official digital currency.
If the proposal is expected, mining, generating, holding, selling, dealing, issuing, or transferring cryptocurrencies on Indian soil would become a criminal offense. The move hasn’t gone down well with stakeholders of the crypto industry. Just a few days ago, billionaire investor Tim Draper had severely criticized the Indian government, calling it corrupt for banning crypto.
Nonetheless, the consistent hostility from the government has caused a great loss to companies engaged in activities related to crypto trade in India. Many of them have been brutally forced to suspend operations completely, while most are finding it extremely difficult to survive.