Bitcoin crosses $50,000 level, but what’s the future of cryptocurrencies in India?

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Updated: February 17, 2021 2:15 PM

Without any recognition and regulation in India, the future of cryptcurrencies is still uncertain in the country.

Unsurprisingly, few ministers and officials talk about it these days, but surprisingly there is very little angst about the God that is failing.

Sustained interest from institutions – like Tesla, MasterCard, Paypal, Microstrategy – has pushed the Bitcoin’s price up. After jumping by $40,000 or 224 per cent last year to cross the previous all-time high level of $24,000 in December 2020, Bitcoin continued its upward journey in 2021 and has crossed the $50,000 level.

However, without any recognition and regulation in India, the future of cryptcurrencies is still uncertain in the country.

Although the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 is among the list of bills to be presented in the Budget Session of Parliament, but without any clue about the contents of the bill, the uncertainty is still there.

So, there is no clarity on how this bill would impact the cryptocurrencies and what would be the impact on investors.

“I am optimistic that the government won’t outrightly ban cryptocurrencies. As per Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur’s statement in Parliament, the bill is drawing upon Garg Committee’s IMC report titled “Banning of Cryptocurrency and regulation of official digital currency” in 2019. This has probably been tweaked to be now called “Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021”. It’s interesting to notice that this time around, there’s no mention of a ban in the name of the bill. The Minister has also added that their intention is to regulate crypto,” said Nischal Shetty, CEO,WazirX.

Cryptocurrency: How different is it from other investments?

Talking on the impact on investors, in case cryptocurrencies are banned again in India, Shetty said, “If the bill proposes a complete ban on crypto – however unlikely – the government has to come up with a path to help over 7 million people who currently hold assets worth over $1 billion, on how to reimburse them for this. Erasing such a large wealth would likely lead to an economic crisis in the country.”

“Recently, as an industry-wide initiative, we have started an email petition campaign where people can write through the link to the MPs of their constituencies urging them to regulate crypto. Over 15,000 emails have already been sent to local MPs,” he said.

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