The creator of India’s crypto bill – former Finance Secretary Subhash Garg – has dismissed the notion of banning ‘private cryptocurrencies’ as a misinterpretation.
During a presentation of the law on the regulation of cryptocurrencies to the Indian Parliament, Garg said that the description of the crypto bill was “perhaps a mistake”.
“It is misleading to say that private cryptocurrencies will be banned and to intimate the government about the same,” he told a local TV station.
Garg added he believed the Indian government should formulate a crypto bill after discussing it with stakeholders and crypto investors.
Furthermore, the bill suggests banning private cryptocurrencies without clarifying what the word ‘private’ actually relates to.
Asked whether the government was aware that Bitcoin transactions were quietly booming in India in recent years, the finance minister – Nirmala Sitharaman – admitted the government did not collect data on Bitcoin transactions.
She also added there were no proposals to recognise Bitcoin as a currency in the country for now.
Underlying technology of cryptocurrency
Meanwhile, Minister Chaudhary reiterated that cryptocurrencies were unregulated in India.
“RBI (the Reserve Bank of India) has advised its regulated entities to continue to carry out customers’ due diligence processes in line with regulations governing standards for know your customer, anti-money laundering, combating of financing of terrorism and obligations of regulated entities under Prevention of Money Laundering Act,” he said.
According to the legislative agenda for the winter session of Lok Sabha The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021 seeks “to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses”.
The crypto bill also provides “a facilitative framework for the creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India”.
The RBI has previously said that it is working on a digital rupee which it plans to launch in phases.
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