Business

Erik Gibbs

India could be close to crypto regs; WazirX exchange wants to wait

The country that can’t seem to make up its mind on whether or not cryptocurrencies should be legal could soon be introducing regulations. India’s Finance Secretary, Subhash Chandra Garg, has said that a report related to crypto regulations is ready and will soon be delivered to the country’s Finance Minister. While this is seen as good news by virtually everyone in the industry, it’s perplexing that one crypto exchange CEO would suggest measures that could delay the integration of the new rules.

Garg has been overseeing a six-person government-led committee formed to better understand crypto and to create the necessary regulations. At the end of March, a hearing in front of the Supreme Court was meant to provide clarity, but that hearing was adjourned and the delays continued.

Garg recently told reporters that the committee had wrapped up its exercise and was ready to move forward once the panel had finalized its details. He added, “We will submit it to the finance minister (soon). Of course, once the approval is done, it will be made public.”

That’s good news, except for WazirX exchange CEO Nischal Shetty. He said that, once the draft is published, the government needs to incorporate the views of those in the crypto space. He explained, “Inviting the crypto industry for comments on the new draft is very important since crypto is a relatively new field with less domain knowledge in the country.”

He added, “I honestly think it’s too early to implement any regulation in this space. Every nation is working with drafts and recommendations with its industry participants. So while the draft is good for the industry, it shouldn’t be implemented without trialing it out in a sandboxed manner.”

It’s definitely a good idea to incorporate the crypto community into the discussions on how the regulations are promulgated. However, delays are only going to prove costly to the Bitcoin ecosystem. Garg has already stated that he believes crypto has a place in society – if only for the tax benefits it might provide – and India has been dragging its feet on crypto almost as much as has the U.S. Exchanges, in particular, should welcome regulations, as they build up consumer confidence and lead to higher revenues.

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