As per reports by The New Indian Express, of December 26th, a governmental committee in India has reportedly suggested the legalization of cryptocurrencies in the country. The article says that a senior official who had attended the panels meetings stated:
“There is a general consensus that cryptocurrency cannot be dismissed as completely illegal. It needs to be legalized with strong riders.”
Previously, as reported earlier by us at BTC Wires, the Indian Government’s stance on cryptocurrencies had been that of conducting a complete ban on cryptocurrencies. They daceclared “any kind of dealing in such currencies should be treated as ‘illegal.’”
India’s government however, recently set up this most recent second inter-ministerial committee, led by Subhash Chandra Garg, the Department of Economic Affairs secretary, after the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) ban on banks dealing with crypto businesses and persons in April of this year. This committee has been established to deal with the conflicting opinions on the RBI ban. They have so far had two meetings and the next one is supposed to be held in January.
This committee includes members of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, RBI, Securities and Exchange Board of India and the revenue secretary.
The official also noted that the members of the committee “have also taken inputs from cryptocurrency exchanges and experts,” concluding by stating that they will work on the legal aspects with India’s law ministry.
As Cointelegraph reported at the beginning of the current month, G20 countries have called for the taxation of cryptocurrencies and regulation preventing their use for money laundering, according to a document stipulated during a Buenos Aires summit.
Some of the members of the second Indian governmental committee, such as the RBI executive director Ganesh Kumar and Ministry of Finance officials, participated in those G20 meetings. Because of this, according to the article, “they are expected to include insights they gained from the global deliberations in their report.”
In October, news broke that the developers of India’s first Bitcoin (BTC) “ATM” were arrested on criminal charges. According to local mainstream media, the two — who are also founders of India’s first crypto exchange Unocoin — was booked for criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery.
A press statement from India’s Central Crime Branch noted that since the ATM had not been approved by the government, it should not have been called an ATM. Prashant Mali, a cyber lawyer, explained that if “kiosk” had been written instead of “ATM,” the installation would have fallen into a grey area of the law.