The government is finalising legislation that will pave the way for regulation of crypto asset trading while barring the use of virtual currencies for payments and transactions. They may not be permitted as currency to settle transactions and make payments but could be held as an asset like shares, gold or bonds.
“Active solicitation would not be permitted. Details of the bill are being finalised,” a government source said. The legislation that’s in the works could be taken to the cabinet for consideration in the next two to three weeks. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) could be designated as the regulator, although a final call is yet to be taken. “Discussions on regulation are going on,” the person said.
Further, a person aware of discussions at a meeting on cryptocurrency Saturday said that the overall view within the government is that the steps taken should be proactive, “progressive and forward-looking” as it was an evolving technology.
The parliamentary standing committee on finance that met crypto industry representatives on Monday also seemed to favour regulation and not a complete ban, the stand espoused by industry representatives.
However, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das has reiterated Tuesday that the number of cryptocurrency accounts in India appears to be exaggerated. At a State Bank of India event on Tuesday in Mumbai he said there was need for a deeper discussion on cryptocurrencies and was yet to see well-informed debate on key concerns, some of which had been raised by the RBI.
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