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India’s tech advocacy body IAMAI dissolves blockchain and digital assets unit

The Blockchain and Crypto-Assets Council (BACC), the advocacy group that represents the interest of Indian digital assets firms, has been dissolved by its parent body, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

In a statement reported by local news outlet the Indian Express, the IAMAI said it was forced to make the decision due to the lingering regulatory uncertainty surrounding the digital assets sector in India.

“The association was forced to take the decision in light of the fact that a resolution of the regulatory environment for the industry is still very uncertain,” the statement said.

The body added that it would now channel the resources that the dissolution frees up to other emerging digital sectors like central bank digital currency (CBDC) and deepening financial inclusion. These sectors can “make a more immediate and direct contribution to digital India” the statement added.

The IAMAI has informed members of the BACC of the decision and will continue to support the unit until the end of the month to ensure a transition and closure of ongoing projects.

In a joint statement, the BACC chair Ashish Singhal and co-chair Sumit Gupta said that the digital assets industry would continue to dialogue with regulators and Web 3.0 stakeholders.

“Our stated belief as an industry has always been to have sustainable dialogue with regulators and stakeholders and address concerns for progressive regulations,” they said.

India not giving the digital assets industry any concessions

While the IAMAI has existed for 13 years and has represented the interests of top internet companies and tech platforms, it only created the BACC unit four years ago. According to inside sources, the IAMAI had been considering shutting down the BACC for some time due to differences in the digital assets industry and the IAMIA’s views.

Notably, one project the BACC member firms, including exchanges like CoinSwitch Kuber, WazirX, CoinDCX, Zebpay, BitBNS, Vauld, Chingari, and Mudrex, will be looking to wrap up is an effort to get the NCPI to restore UPI support for them.

Apart from the NCPI hurdle and the market downturn facing the digital assets industry, India has been gradually tightening regulations for the digital assets industry. The government has introduced a 30% income tax and a 1% TDS tax regime for the market.

To add to the issues, India’s anti-graft agency is also going after exchange executives on allegations of violating foreign exchange laws and aiding crime.

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