A meeting on cryptocurrency was recently chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 13th of November. This ended with sources allegedly telling Asia News International that the government intends to take ‘progressive’ steps forward in the crypto market. In Asia’s third-largest economy, this would be quite a win with big results.
A warning note was struck by a statement that the government also intends to take action on misleading and overpromising advertisements related to cryptocurrency. A further note of caution came from participants in the meeting who noted that unregulated markets are at risk for becoming channels of terror financing or money laundering. This also follows from warnings by the central bank, Reserve Bank of India governor, Shaktikanta Das, who has an explicitly anti-crypto stance, even considering it a ‘threat’ to the country’s financial stability.
However, the Prime Minister’s Office has declined to provide an explicit comment. Recently, accusations are being flung against various political players for covering up a Bitcoin scam in the state of Karnataka. So, the moment is fraught.
Real Move Forward?
Actual policy decisions, as well as the stance of the government as a whole, are likely to become clearer soon, in December. There are rumors that the government intends to table a comprehensive bill in relation to cryptocurrency in the Winter Session of the Indian Parliament.
In most parts of the world, the sector remains unregulated. Close neighbor China has banned all cryptocurrency transactions. Brazil and El Salvador have remained positive about the cryptocurrency market. At the moment, it is most likely that India will play a cautious waiting game.