No crypto ban in India just yet as gov’t works on regulation: official

The Indian government hasn’t banned cryptocurrencies in the country, a government official has stated. India’s Minister of Finance, Shri Anurag Thakur revealed this as he responded to some of the questions posed to his ministry regarding the use of cryptocurrencies.

Thakur also stated that the country was yet to formulate laws governing crypto use and that the associated government agencies were working together to figure out the way forward.

The Indian crypto space has been unpredictable in the past few years, with the government failing to state its explicit decision on the use of cryptos. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been the most involved government body. The RBI instructed all banks in the country to cease offering services to crypto businesses, a decision that the crypto community appealed to no avail.

There have also been reports that the country intends on banning cryptos totally. The reports also indicated that the proposed law, which has reportedly received support from many government factions, would condemn crypto users to criminal charges.

However, according to Thakur, the country is working to formulate crypto laws that can protect the consumers while at the same time fostering innovation. As it stands, no crypto laws exist and the related government departments are having to make do with the available legislation. He stated:

Presently, there is no separate law for dealing with issues relating to cryptocurrencies. Hence, all concerned Departments and law enforcement agencies, such as RBI, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax authorities, etc. take action as per the relevant existing laws. Similarly, police/courts take action on IPC offences.

And while there are no laws restricting crypto use, the minister made it clear that the government doesn’t recognize cryptos as legal tender.

The government has also taken to advising the citizens against the risks associated with investing in cryptos by issuing advisories, press releases and circulars to the public. The minister commented that the government has conducted an awareness campaign cautioning the public against “the risks and dangers with Virtual currencies including potential financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks that they are exposing themselves to by investing in Bitcoin and/or other Virtual currencies. RBI has also clarified that it has not given any license/authorization to any entity/company to operate such schemes or deal with Bitcoins or any virtual currency.”

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