India to Have Comprehensive Crypto Regulations by September, Official Says

The proposed regulations do not include an outright ban on cryptocurrencies.

An unnamed senior official from India’s Ministry of Finance confirmed that the Indian Supreme Court is expected to issue a comprehensive set of cryptocurrency laws and regulations by September, according to a report by the New Indian Express.

A draft the country’s proposed cryptocurrency legislation was completed in mid-July. “The draft is ready and consultation is on with all the stakeholders,” and is now under review, the official told the news source. The “stakeholders” include the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

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“The ministry has constituted an interdisciplinary committee under the chairmanship of Special Secretary (Economic Affairs) to examine the regulatory framework regarding virtual currency,” the publication stated, adding that both RBI and SEBI had expressed “some reservations” over certain clauses in the draft.

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“Most of the officials have serious reservations against it, which all of us agree with … we want to arrive at a common conclusion. There must be an appropriate mechanism to regulate the same,” the official said.

Following the RBI’s ban on cryptocurrencies, rumors have circulated for months that the Indian government has been considering a sweeping ban on crypto. However, it seems unlikely that the proposed legislation will take any extreme measures.

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“I don’t think anyone is really thinking of banning it (cryptocurrencies) altogether,” an anonymous government official told Quartz earlier this month. “The issue here is about regulating the trade and we need to know where the money is coming from. Allowing it as (a) commodity may let us better regulate trade and so that is being looked at.”

Indeed, the government’s main goal seems to be preventing cryptocurrency from being used in illegal activities. “What has to be in place is a mechanism to be sure that the money used is not illegal money, and to track its source is the most important thing,” the official from the Indian Ministry of Finance said.

The Indian government has also set a date for Supreme Court hearings on cryptocurrency-related petitions to September 11.

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