India might tighten crypto rules instead of imposing an outright ban, crypto exchange boss says

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  • According to Avinash Shekhar, co-CEO of crypto exchange Zebpay, lawmakers may eventually opt to impose stricter rules on the crypto market instead of imposing a complete ban on private coins.
  • A parliamentary bulletin on 23 November showed that the Indian government is planning to introduce a new bill that seeks to ban most private cryptocurrencies.
  • But it will “allow the promotion of cryptocurrency and the underlying technology of its use, for certain exceptions,” the bulletin said.

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India is set to propose a new cryptocurrency bill in parliament, and investors are trying to understand what this could mean for the future of virtual coins in South Asia’s largest economy.

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According to a top executive of Zebpay, one of India’s largest crypto exchanges, lawmakers may eventually opt to impose stricter regulations on the crypto market rather than impose a complete ban on private coins.

“I believe we will have some sort of consistent regulation, but on the tough side,” Zebpay co-CEO Avinash Shekhar told Businesshala’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Thursday.

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a parliamentary bulletin The date of November 23 showed the government plans to introduce a new bill aimed at regulating digital currencies when parliament begins its winter session starting Monday.

Through that bill, India is seeking to ban most private cryptocurrencies as well as establish a framework to make it an official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India. However, it will “allow the promotion of cryptocurrency and the underlying technology of its use, for certain exceptions,” the bulletin said.

… the feeling we are getting from the government is that they are looking for some kind of regulation, strict regulation, but not a complete ban.
Avinash Shekhar
zebpe

The central bank is considering a digital Indian rupee which allegedly launch a pilot in the second quarter of 2022.

Shekhar told Businesshala that over the past eight to nine months, after consulting authorities with various stakeholders, including crypto exchange operators, the government’s stance on cryptocurrencies changed.

“There has been a very positive response from the government. We met the Finance Committee of Parliament about two weeks ago,” he said. “The message or sentiment we are getting from the government is that they are looking for some sort of regulation – stricter regulation, but not a complete ban.”

In March, India was considering a law that would ban cryptocurrencies, impose fines on anyone doing business in the country or even holding such digital assets, Reuters reported citing a senior government official,

According to the news agency, since then, New Delhi has changed its stance a bit and is now trying to discourage crypto trading by imposing heavy capital gains and other taxes.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi this month delivered the keynote At the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s The Sydney Dialogue where he said that all democracies should work together on crypto to “make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, which could spoil our youth.”

When Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Hindustan Times asked If India should have its own cryptocurrency, he reportedly said, “we have to be cautious, but we have to think about it.”

Zebpay’s Shekhar said officials are talking about stricter regulations because “they clearly want to control it and not let crypto become a currency, so to say.”

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He explained that potential regulations would have to meet the needs of India’s retail investors – while there is currently no official data available, media reports suggest that there are around 15 million to 20 million crypto investors in the country.

“The other side, which is not being talked about too much, is innovation in technology,” Shekhar said, adding that many innovators are still waiting to enter the crypto market.

“With regulation coming in, I think this will be a major area where I think multi-billion dollar companies will be created in India,” he said.

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