Bitcoin ban in India: government wants to open “time windows”

In India, the bill to ban Bitcoin is going into the next round. There should be a time window in which stocks can be liquidated without penalty. According to statements by the finance minister, the crypto market in India may not come to a complete standstill.


In India, the government is preparing a law that de facto prohibits the mining and trading of cryptocurrencies. A high-ranking government official recently confirmed this to the Reuters news agency. The proposed Bitcoin ban is in line with a January government program. It prohibits both trading and ownership of private virtual currencies such as Bitcoin. Nevertheless, the Indian government would like to create a framework for an official digital currency. 


But the government’s recent comments had lacked a clear line. Occasionally, investors had hoped that the authorities would reconsider their Bitcoin ban in view of the booming market. A recent statement by Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman fits this rather inconsistent course with regard to the Bitcoin ban. She brought up a kind of “window of time” at an event organized by India Today magazine. 


A cabinet note is in preparation. It is about to be completed and will then be presented to the cabinet. We’re going to give people a window of time to experiment with blockchain and bitcoin. Anyway, the wording of the cryptocurrency will be part of the cabinet note which will be ready soon.

Is the Bitcoin ban coming with a grace period?


So are cryptocurrencies not completely banned after all? She added that while the Reserve Bank of India – the country’s central bank – made its own official decision on cryptocurrencies. At the same time, the Ministry of Finance is “very clear” that it “cannot rule out all options”.


Last week, the Minister for Financial Services, Debasish Panda, also spoke on the subject of the Bitcoin ban. He said the government is aware of the various problems surrounding cryptocurrencies. You will take a considered opinion on the issues. However, it was not more specific. Currently, the regulatory authorities such as RBI and Sebi do not have a legal framework to intervene directly in the trading of cryptocurrencies. This is because they do not represent currencies, assets, securities, or commodities that are issued by identifiable users.

According to the insider quoted by Reuters, the current bill provides for a kind of grace period. The owners of cryptocurrencies should be given up to six months to liquidate their holdings. It can be assumed that the bill to ban Bitcoin will come into force. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a comfortable majority in parliament. If it really does get that far, India would be the first major economy to make cryptocurrency ownership illegal. Even China, which has officially banned mining and trade, does not punish possession.


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