The draconian bill introduced by the country’s former finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg in 2019 to ban cryptocurrencies in India haunts the country’s crypto enthusiasts and entrepreneurs to this day.
Reports from Bloomberg and the local news outlet Economic Times about the further development of the bill and the possible introduction of it as law has only caused more panic and anxiety within the crypto community.
These reports have always cited “people familiar with the development” as saying that the bill will be discussed shortly by the federal cabinet before being sent to the parliament for consideration. The same statements seem to have been doing the rounds since early June.
Without any additional information, these reports suggested a high possibility of a ban on cryptocurrencies in India.
There is, however, as much uncertainty regarding the bill today as there was a year ago. The only thing that has changed — that too in the favor of the Indian cryptocurrency industry — is that in March the Supreme Court struck down the Reserve Bank of India’s circular banning financial institutions from dealing with cryptocurrency companies and traders.
Subramanian Swamy, the ruling party’s member of Parliament of the Rajya Sabha, the Indian Parliament’s upper house, tweeted about the ban’s repeal saying, “SC allows cryptocurrency trading, cancels RBI’s 2018 circular.”
Swamy was also quoted by a local news outlet as saying that “cryptocurrency is inevitable.” Further refuting the claims of a possibile cryptocurrency ban, crypto news outlet The Block recently reported that Swamy has denied hearing about any discussion of a cryptocurrency ban:
“It will be madness if they do.”
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Ashish Singhal, the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange CoinSwitch — which has its major user base in India — pointed toward the list of bills that is subject to discussion during the Monsoon Session of the Parliament. He said that as much as one can see from the list, no purported ban on crypto trading is scheduled for discussion.
Nischal Shetty, the founder of the Indian cryptocurrency exchange WazirX, and Siddharth Sogani, the founder of the Indian blockchain research company Crebaco, also remarked on the bill, saying there was nothing to worry about. Per the execs, there lies a long road ahead before the bill would even make it to the parliament.
“It’s too early for the draft crypto bill to be presented to the parliament,” Shetty added.
Calling the recent news articles “clickbait,” Sogani said that the Indian crypto community had “reacted with a sudden panic but many crypto users in India are now used to such clickbait news.”
“The bill was moving for sure few months ago but I am not sure about the source which Bloomberg is discussing at the moment,” he stated..
On the same note, Shetty said that it was a known fact that “the bill has been with the Finance Ministry ever since the Garg committee submitted to them.” But the way it has been interpreted in the media has caused mild panic within the industry, adding:
“Now everyone knows that it’s ultimately the same information that has been around for a while.”