India to Put a Blanket Ban on Crypto, Leaked Draft Shows

The draft also mentioned a “Digital Rupee” to be issued by India's central bank.

The Indian government is considering to ban the use of cryptocurrencies, according to a leaked draft of a bill.

Titled “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currencies,” the draft is being circulated by technology lawyer Varun Sethi; however, its authentication cannot be verified yet.

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The draft defined digital currencies as “any information or code or number or token not being part of any Official Digital Currency, generated through cryptographic means or otherwise, providing a digital representation of value.”

“No person shall mine, generate, hold, sell, deal in, issue, transfer, dispose of or use Cryptocurrency in the territory of India,” a section of the draft stated.

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Despite the hostility towards cryptocurrencies, the draft proposed a “Digital Rupee” which will be issued by the Reserve Bank of India. This, however, contradicts earlier media reports which revealed that the central bank shelved its plans to introduce a digital version of the fiat.

“Digital Rupee means a form of currency issued digitally by the Reserve Bank of India and approved by the Central Government to be legal tender,” the draft noted.

The bill will likely be tabled before lawmakers in the ongoing parliamentary session.

The draft, however, does not restrict the use of blockchain technology and also allows the use of crypto for research.

“Nothing in this Act shall apply to the use of Distributed Ledger Technology for creating a network for delivery of any financial or other services or for creating value, without involving any use of cryptocurrency for making or receiving payment,” the draft added.

Bill to kill crypto

If the bill passed, it might kill the already struggling crypto industry in the country. Just in the past few months, three crypto exchanges operating in India closed their business, citing uncertainty in regulations.

Meanwhile, due to the hostility of the Indian government towards crypto, Facebook decided not to launch its upcoming crypto products in the country. This is significant as India is the largest market of the social media giant for its various platforms.

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