Indian Government to Delay Cryptocurrency Bill in Winter Session
India’s government announced that it would not be considering a draft bill to ban digital assets during the winter session of Parliament as was previously planned.
In August 2019, the government stated that the draft bill would be introduced in Parliament in the winter session, which starts from the 18th of November to ends on the 13th of December. The draft bill, named “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currencies”, fortunately, is not included in the agenda published by Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s parliament.
This gives a sigh of relief for the community who have been mobilizing to convince the government to reevaluate the bill, despite remains exactly unknown if the Indian government still plans to present the bill at a later date or drop the plans altogether.
“Amazing News” for crypto lovers in India
The draft legislation purportedly intends to ban all cryptocurrencies except state-issued ones was drafted by an Interministerial Committee (IMC) headed by former Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs Subhash Chandra Garg. It was submitted to the Ministry of Finance in February and made public in July.
“No person shall mine, generate, hold, sell, deal in, issue, transfer, and dispose of or use Cryptocurrency in the territory of India”, the document written.
Moreover, it also not apply Bitcoin’s (BTC) underlying technology of blockchain as well as other related technologies associated with the development of the technology, including blockchain-based financial applications.
Hence, after the update by the government of India about postponed all petitions relating to the country’s crypto policies to January next year, the cryptocurrency community expressed delight.
CEO of Indian crypto exchange Pocketbits, Sohail Merchant tweeted:
Draft Bill for Banning of Crypto is not on the Agenda for Parliament Winter Session.
— Sohail Merchant (@inkparadox) November 15, 2019
“Draft Bill for Banning of Crypto isn’t on the Agenda for Parliament Winter Session. Relief for now, but use this time to come together and present our case to the regulators. Forget competition/ego & echo our thoughts with a single voice.”
Additionally, Nischal Shetty, CEO of Wazirx crypto exchange, said that “Great to see Indian Government not rushing into this. They’re listening.” The delay reveals great news for the crypto ecosystem in India. Furthermore, he suggested that the government takes more time to reevaluate the complete ban of crypto.
GREAT NEWS for the Crypto ecosystem of India
The draft Crypto banning bill will NOT be included in the upcoming parliament session of November 2019.
— Nischal (WazirX) ⚡️ (@NischalShetty) November 15, 2019
Forming One Voice of Community
It’s crucial to note the efforts entire India’s crypto community consistently gave since the bill was public. The community tirelessly campaigned for the government to reconsider the ban, pointing out that that the bill is flawed. Especially, in October, Tim Draper, a billionaire venture capitalist, called on prime minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the country’s hostile stance on crypto. He said that India was leaving itself vulnerable to corruption by trying to ban crypto.
Besides, Pocketbits’ CEO also urged all stakeholders in the crypto industry to “Forget competition/ego & echo our thoughts with a single voice.”
In addition, some crypto stakeholders gathered earlier this month at an event called “Unwind With Crypto” hosted by crypto exchange Coindcx. The goal of the meeting was “bringing all the important stakeholders in the crypto industry together and build a stronger global community”.
Importantly, the event was also attended by the pioneers of the crypto and the blockchain industry who have taken India’s crypto competence to the global stage,” such as Crypto Kanoon, Matic Network, Marlin Protocol, Woodstock Fund, Cashaa, Hard Fork, as well as top exchanges including Wazirx and Delta.
Crypto Kanoon’s Kashif Raza commented, “It is unfortunate that despite our community’s utmost efforts, the central bank still seems confused regarding the widespread power of crypto assets.”
On the other hand, the members attending committed to having a larger discussion and engage more in the weeks to come,” Coindcx CEO, Sumit Gupta said. “A set of more meetings have been planned to decide the modus operandi. Another event that we are planning is around engaging with the journalists in the finance and business domain to present a fair picture.”