Lawmakers in Indian parliament are considering proposed legislation for enforcing India crypto ban. Media in India reports that the proposed legislation is stringent, with provisions for steep penalties and 10-years imprisonment.
This new draft bill marks the continuation of India’s tough stance on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether. The Indian government, the country’s central bank, and lawmakers are wary about the negative impact cryptocurrencies can have, and the draft bill reflects that.
Cryptocurrencies offer relative anonymity, therefore, criminals often use them to finance their illegal activities. They often use cryptocurrencies to procure illegal products or services on the Darknet and the Dark Web.
Criminals use Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to buy drugs and weapons, moreover, they also hire hackers for malicious purposes. Terrorists and dealers in illegal weapons often use Bitcoin to carry out their nefarious activities.
Scamsters often use cryptocurrencies for money-laundering too. Governments in many countries have expressed concerns over the use of cryptocurrencies to finance crime and terrorism, and the Indian government is one of them.
The incumbent Indian government has promised tough actions against crime, terrorism, and corruption. They are delivering on these promises, and they are concerned that cryptocurrencies can adversely impact their anti-corruption drive. The Indian government has also expressed concerns about the speculation in the crypto market.
The consistent opposition to crypto from the Indian government
The Indian government has consistently opposed cryptocurrencies, however, it has welcomed blockchain. Even the Union Finance Minister has made this stance clear on the floor of Indian parliament.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI), i.e., the central bank of the country has aligned with the government in this matter, and it has denied banking services to crypto-related businesses. While technology businesses have lobbied with RBI on this matter, crypto exchanges in the country have legally challenged this ban.
The Indian government and RBI have not changed their stance, and the latest draft bill is a reflection of this. If the bill becomes a law, then any kind of dealing with cryptocurrencies will attract a fine amounting to thrice the loss caused to the financial system, or thrice the gain made by the individual.
The bill proposes to make any dealing with cryptocurrencies a non-bailable offence. Courts can sentence the person to a 10-years prison term.
Some industry observers have cautioned that India’s tough stance on crypto would stifle blockchain innovation in the country, however, the haul of blockchain patents from India shows otherwise.
Noticeably, the Indian government is seriously exploring blockchain for government service delivery. The interest in blockchain isn’t confined to the Union Government.
For e.g., the state government of Andhra Pradesh, a southern Indian state is already using blockchain for government service delivery. Maharashtra, the industrialized western Indian state is another example, where the state government is evaluating blockchain for improving governance.
India crypto ban appears imminent
The stringent bill with steep penalties and a provision for 10-years imprisonment seems to indicate that a comprehensive India crypto ban is imminent. We need to wait and watch the parliamentary proceedings in India.