Crypto ban: Govt panel recommends ban on digital currency; key things to know

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Published: July 22, 2019 6:10:51 PM

A government panel on Monday recommended a ban on cryptocurrency, even as it suggested keeping official digital currencies out of the purview.

Dark-net spending in Bitcoin peaked in 2017, at 2 million, and declined last year as the coin’s price took a dramatic dive. (Reuters File photo)The report prepared by the panel and a draft legislation suggested by it will be examined by the government and regulators before taking a final decision. (Reuters File photo)

A government panel on Monday recommended a ban on cryptocurrency, even as it suggested keeping official digital currencies out of the purview, TV news channels reported. The committee has also recommended imposition of penalty for any dealing in the virtual currencies. The report prepared by the panel and a draft legislation suggested by it will be examined by the government and regulators before taking a final decision, the global news agency Reuters reported citing the government.

An inter ministerial-committee headed by finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg was appointed by the government to examine all issues related to cryptocurrencies, including the pros and cons of the introduction of an official digital currency, even as all digital currencies are not considered legal tender in the country.

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Earlier this month, the Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs had told the Parliament that any decision on  licensing and authorising any entity or company to deal with Bitcoins or any other virtual currency has been made yet.

“The committee, with representations from MeitY, RBI, Sebi and CBDT is examining all issues, including the pros and cons of the introduction of an official digital currency in India and is working to develop a framework for regulating crypto currencies,” the Minister of State for Corporate Affairs had told the Lok Sabha.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India last year in July had issued a ban on cryptocurrencies. The central bank had issued circular that  regulated entities from providing services to crypto businesses.

After charting new heights for most part of the last year, several cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin lost substantial value, even as it gained significantly in the last few weeks.

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