India’s Top IT Body Views Cryptocurrency As Illegal

It’s not been a good week for cryptocurrencies in India. With the recent arrest of the co-founders of Unocoin for operating a Bitcoin ATM, the government’s intolerance towards digital currency has been re-established.

Amidst this turmoil, the president of India’s leading IT industry body, National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), has clearly stated that the organization views cryptocurrencies as illegal. President Debjani Ghosh has been very candid with this opinion that the entire association holds.

Ghosh has stated:

“It is the law of the land and hence, we have to work with it. If we do not agree, we have to go back to the government and speak about why cryptocurrencies aren’t correct [legal].”

Nasscom is to a large extent responsible for protecting the interests of technology startups in India. It also assumes a role of a guardian in protecting these startups against any regulatory and legal hurdles. In that context, Ghosh has clearly stated above that the government is the one calling the shots here and there is nothing that they can do. If there are any grievances that the crypto industry has, it needs to be taken up with the government directly.

For those not aware of the current scenario in India with regard to Bitcoins, it would be helpful to understand that they have not been ruled illegal as of yet, but they are also not recognized as a legitimate method of payment in India.

When asked about the arrest of founders of Unocoin, which is India’s biggest and best-funded crypto exchange, Ghosh claimed that NASSCOM was yet to receive and go over all the details of the case. She said,

“The genesis of this problem, however, lies in the failure of policy making not keeping pace with rapid technological changes.”

Policy making has definitely been a lacuna that the Indian government needs to address in terms of crypto. On one hand RBI has strict rules in place barring any traditional financial institution from trading in crypto. But we have also heard news about policy formulating committees that have been looking into crypto as an alternative due to the rising prices of paper currency.

Turning their backs on crypto, Nasscom has notably maintained a supportive stance towards blockchain. In February, the organization collaborated with Canada’s Blockchain Research Institute to explore a new revollution in digital economy which has decentralized ledger technology as its backbone.