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India's ex-finance secretary says private cryptocurrency ban may have been worded improperly

India's ex-finance secretary says private cryptocurrency ban may have been worded improperly

India’s ex-finance secretary has shed doubt on the nature of the cryptocurrency bill, stating that the “banning of private cryptocurrencies” may have been misinterpreted in the bill.

The nature of India’s proposed Crypto Bill sparked concerns about how the wording will leave private cryptocurrencies. The parliamentary discussions around the controversial bill titled “The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021” has thus far been seen as positive for the regulation of cryptocurrency, however the exact wording of the description of the cryptocurrency bill has led to concerns surrounding what constitutes a private cryptocurrency.

The Bill that may be introduced in the coming days during the Winter Session, states:

“To create a facilitative framework for creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India. The Bill also seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses”

In an interview with local news channel, Former finance secretary of India Subhash Garg clarified:

“I think this was perhaps a mistake. When you are not even ready with the bill, it is misleading to say that private cryptocurrencies will be banned and to intimate the government about the same. Ideally, the government should discuss with stakeholders and crypto investors and then formulate a bill.

She added:

"This is a new emerging technologies, no one really fully understands it, whether in the government or in the private sector. Something like cryptocurrency and blockchain technology which has an an enormous future potential, needs to be discussed widely. Then, a decision can be taken keeping in mind India’s best interest.”

The lack of clarification over the word “private” in the crypto bill will require greater definition by the government, as many have brought up the fact that Ethereum and Bitcoin are traded publicly then they may be considered public, rather than private, coins. 

The new Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has today confirmed that a new crypto bill will be introduced in the House after approval from the Cabinet.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.