Speaking to CNBC, Avinash Shekhar, the co-CEO of crypto exchange Zebpay, said that the Indian government may not go for an outright ban on cryptocurrencies, instead favouring tough regulations which could discourage their use. It comes after a parliamentary bulletin was circulated on November 23 stating that the government wants to introduce a regressive bill that would ban private cryptocurrencies inside the country.
Shekhar’s comments are based on a meeting that he had with the Parliament’s finance committee a couple of weeks ago, he told CNBC that:
“There has been lots of positive vibes from the government. We met the finance committee of Parliament around two weeks back. The message or the feelers which we are getting from the government is that they’re looking for some kind of regulation — strict regulation, but not a complete ban.”
According to Shekhar, the Indian government is afraid that some private cryptocurrency like Bitcoin could come along and be used as a competing currency to the Rupee. Unlike the Rupee, which the government has control over, a cryptocurrency would be uncontrollable and would be more volatile potentially leading to people losing money.
So rather than an outright ban, Indian cryptocurrency holders could still be allowed to trade cryptocurrencies but might face large taxes, ultimately discouraging their use. It should also be noted that India has threatened to block cryptocurrency use in the country on a number of occasions but they continue to be used, so it’s unclear what will come out of this latest proposal.
As India and a few other nations look to stifle private cryptocurrencies, other nations are embracing them such as El Salvador and Palau, Australians will also be able to invest in cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds after the country’s regulator approved plans.