Indian Finance Minister: “we plan to regulate, not ban cryptocurrencies”

The Indian government said it is leaning towards regulating cryptocurrencies rather than banning them altogether, commenting on a bill submitted to parliament to ban “private” cryptocurrencies.

Indian Finance Minister Anurag Singh Thakur said during a speech in the upper house of parliament this week that the new bill aims to curb illegal transactions with cryptocurrencies and ban their use in payments. He said:

“The government does not consider cryptocurrencies to be legal tender and will take all measures to stop the use of cryptoassets to fund illegal activities or as part of a payment system.”

The Indian cryptocurrency community has been alarmed after the newsletter of the lower house of the Indian parliament revealed the government’s plans to begin considering a bill to ban “private” cryptocurrencies.

The Cryptocurrency and Official Digital Currency Regulation Bill of 2021 bans the use of cryptocurrencies in India and provides the basis for the creation of an official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). However, the bulletin does not define the terms used in the draft law.

While the latest comments from the finance minister provide some clarity to the government’s plans, the content of the bill is still unknown. The Indian cryptocurrency industry has revived after the Supreme Court last spring overturned an RBI directive that has banned banks and financial institutions from providing services to cryptocurrency firms since 2018 .

According to a statement from the finance minister, the government is “actively” studying blockchain to “accelerate the development of the digital economy.”

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