India wants to propose a strict bill Against the mining; purchase; sale and investment in cryptocurrencies, legally punishing even users who have a stored amount of cryptocurrencies. Information is from a senior Indian government official.
According to Reuters, which received testimony from this employee who preferred not to be identified, the bill seeks to “criminalize the possession, issuance, mining, trade and transfer of crypto-assets”. If approved, cryptocurrency holders must get rid of their digital currencies within six months, so as not to be punished.
With the law passed, India becomes the first country to criminalize the possession of cryptocurrencies, with an even more drastic measure than that of China, where it is forbidden to mine and trade cryptocurrencies, but it is not a crime to keep them.
According to Reuters, India represents a large number of investors and cryptocurrency enthusiasts, with a steadily growing volume of transactions.
Reuters contacted the Indian Ministry of Finance, but received no response. However, after local authorities have accused cryptocurrencies of being a pyramid scheme, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told CNBC, the Indian state will think hard before deciding on the case.
“I can only give you a clue that we are not closing our minds, we are looking for ways in which experiments can happen in the digital world and in cryptocurrency […] There will be a very calibrated position taken “, says the minister.
One of the clearest justifications for this drastic measure is the Indian central bank’s project to create its own cryptocurrency and for it to develop, the government seeks to ban all others.
The state-owned cryptocurrency project was introduced in 2018, the same year that traditional banks were banned from trading cryptocurrencies. This ban was lifted in March last year.
But in 2019, government officials suggested up to 10 years’ imprisonment for people who “exploit, generate, maintain, sell, transfer, discard, issue or trade cryptocurrencies”.
According to the anonymous source of Reuters, the Indian central bank’s project to create its own cryptocurrency is the main justification for such radical measures against “private” cryptocurrencies.
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