The G20 leaders’ summit held at Osaka, Japan brought to light some really important developments and discussions surrounding crypto assets, and one that caught our eye in particular was the Indian Prime Minister’s statements regarding virtual assets.
India has traditionally been averse to cryptocurrencies and it is currently not a recognized asset that can be traded in the country. However, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed considerable interest in adhering to the crypto standards set by the Financial Action Task Force.
India’s sherpa to the G20, Suresh Prabhu, detailed out the conversations that took place surrounding digital assets at the summit. He said that the idea of implementing crypto standards was discussed by the G20 leaders at the summit. He said:
“In economy, finance will be an important issue. Therefore issues related to global finance … whether it is related to technological innovation which can deliver benefits in financial markets or whether it is related to the commitment in applying recently amended FATF [Financial Action Task Force] standards for virtual assets, all these issues were also discussed. “
Along with Mr. Modi, India’s new finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, also joined other G20 finance ministers to declare India’s commitment towards these new crypto standards.
A declaration was announced at the conclusion of the summit that read:
We, the leaders of the G20, met in Osaka, Japan on 28-29 June 2019 to make united efforts to address major global economic challenges … We reaffirm our commitment to applying the recently amended FATF standards to virtual assets and related providers for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.
India too was part of this declaration, which possibly indicates a change in attitude of the Indian government towards cryptocurrencies. For those not aware, the FATF is an intergovernmental organization tasked with the responsibility of developing global policies in areas such as combating money laundering.
This is indeed an important step taken by the Indian government to check the unfettered growth of illegal activities surrounding digital assets. It is expected that the government will take some concrete steps in reaffirming its intent to encourage crypto in the country.