After proposing a bill that would see all “private cryptocurrencies” banned in the country, India’s Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Anurag Thakur has declared that the Indian government was not looking to introduce a national crypto asset. He made this statement while he was facing the parliament of the country and he was asked about the posture of the government towards cryptocurrency.
To buttress his point, Thakur cited a budget speech that was delivered in the 2018/2019 session where it was stated that “Government does not consider cryptocurrencies as legal tender or coins.”
The finance minister’s response contradicts a recent publication from the Reserve Bank of India that stated that the bank was looking to issue a digital currency that would be backed by its fiat currency, Rupee.
Lack of clarity muddies India’s crypto market
Cryptocurrency has not enjoyed a massive amount of goodwill from the India government. It would be recalled that the apex bank of the country had enforced a two year ban on all cryptocurrencies, and ordered banks not to offer their services to any institution or individual seeking custodial services for their crypto holdings. This ban was only lifted by an order of the Supreme Court of the country.
A report by CoinDCX recently also showed that the majority of the respondents believed that the country lacked clarity in its crypto regulation. And just recently, the government was also proposing a blanket ban for all “private cryptocurrency” without clarifying what it meant by private.
This, however, is a big blow to the burgeoning crypto market in the Asian country as it is only behind China in the continent. Thus, crypto investors in the country might be left confused as to what the legal status of crypto is in the country and might be reluctant to invest in an uncertain environment.