Crypto in India endangered? Extended section of ‘draft bill’ circulated on social media

  • 15 July 2019, Monday, 05:40

The idea of virtual assets and blockchain has prospered in the West but on the other side of the world, not so much. India has been one of the major countries in Asia that has dented the progression of the crypto industry with regulations. Cryptocurrency exchanges in the nation were biting the dust one by one and the horizon seems laced with no silver lining.

A draft bill was doing the rounds on social media a month ago, which stated that any person who deals with virtual assets might face up to one year in prison, which could extend up to ten years. If guilty, the accused could also be significantly fined and jailed at the same time.

Now, according to recent posts on social media, an extended section of the same draft bill was released which mentioned the list of crypto activities that may be extensively banned in the country. The authenticity of the draft bill has not yet been validated; the images of the ‘bill’ that is being circulated on crypto Twitter had not been authenticated by the officials, at press time.

In Section. 8 of the document, The draft bill stated that,

(1) No person shall directly or indirectly use Cryptocurrency for activities including, the following; (a) as a payment system, whether authorisedunder Section 4 of the Payments and Settlement Systems Act , 2007 (51 of 2017) or otherwise; (b) buy or sell or store Cryptocurrency (c) provide Cryptocurrency related services to consumers or investors which inclueds registering, trading, settling, clearing or other services; (d) trade Cryptocurrency with Indian currency or any foreign currency; (e) issue Cryptocurrency related financial products; (f) as a basis of credit; (g) issue cryptocurrency as a means of raising funds; and/or (h) as a means of investment

The list of activities completely restricts every kind of crypto-related movement, some of which were allowed earlier.

Kunal Barchha, CEO of CoinRecoil, an Indian crypto exchange which was banned, indicated that such restrictions will only continue to create a “parallel crypto-economy” in the community.

He said,

“And let me tell you this with all honesty, if there is a ban, I bet on my words, it will create a lot more headache for government than for the investors. Honest traders and investors already have many ways to circumvent that ban and buy bitcoin for long-term growth.”