India has been one of the worst nightmares for the crypto industry. While the land has been generally supportive towards other technologies, it has been absolutely hostile towards decentralized currencies. Things were expected to get better after the intervention of the Supreme Court but have actually got worse.
An alleged Bill titled “Banning of Cryptocurrencies, and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies” has been leaked online by tech lawyer and activist Varun Sethi, which claims to be a bill the government will put forth in the parliament for a discussion. Once approved, the government will ban all cryptocurrencies and related activities in the country. As per the document, no person in the country will be allowed to mine, generate, hold, sell, deal in, issue, transfer, dispose of, or use digital currencies.
The leaked document defines cryptocurrencies as follows:
any information or code or number or token not being part of any Official Digital Currency, generated through cryptographic means or otherwise, providing a digital representation of value.
The country first showed hostility towards crypto in April 2017, when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central bank asked commercial banks to refrain from offering services to crypto-related businesses. The banks followed the direction, which led to a serious loss to crypto companies in the country; some even forced to quit operations completely.
However, computer scientist and crypto advocate John McAfee thinks that banning crypto cannot stop users from crypto trading. Commenting on the ban of McAfee stated,
The U.S. cannot even ban weed – after 70 years of trying. How can a country ban the use of privacy coins like Monero or Apollo, when used on truly distributed exchanges. Banning the invisible, used by the anonymous. Wake up world! Crypto is the mythical Pandora’s box come to life.
In a tweet on Monday, McAfee furthered his argument by stating that banning mosquitoes has a better chance of success than banning crypto.
India announces it plans to ban all crypto. Banning mosquitos after a rain in the summer would stand a better chance of being enforceable.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) July 16, 2019
Despite efforts from crypto activists, the government seems to be continuing with its hostile attitude towards the industry. Though experts like McAfee say that using crypto cannot be banned, it poses a risk which few would like to take. An earlier report revealed that the government is training top cops in the country on crypto operations, in order to crack industry-related cases.