India’s government is planning regulations that could require coins to register before being listed and traded on exchanges.
According to anonymous sources from Reuters, the process is intentionally cumbersome in order to deter investors from holding cryptocurrencies. Only coins that have been pre-approved by the government may be traded, with those holding other coins risking a penalty. This regulation would create a barrier of entry for thousands of peer-to-peer currencies if carried out. Another senior government source claimed that capital gains and other taxes, potentially amounting to over 40%, may be levied on any crypto gains.
However, this is only the latest speculation during the developments that have taken place due to high-profile crypto meetings over the past week.
Last week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a review meeting on digital currency, where the government ultimately decided to continue proactively engaging with experts and other stakeholders in the crypto industry. The review decided that India should seek global partnerships and collective strategies on crypto regulation, while considering global examples and best practices.
However, it was also determined at the meeting that marketing and advertising of cryptocurrencies should be discouraged, for fear of misleading the country’s youth. Preventing unregulated crypto markets from becoming avenues for money laundering and terror financing should also be a priority in any regulation.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, India’s Parliamentary Committee on Finance met with the country’s crypto industry experts and associations for the first time. Although several members of the panel shared the view that crypto should be accepted but regulated, others expressed their concern over the potential for misuse. Anticipated by crypto advocates for some time, the first such meeting with government representatives was described as “welcoming” and “progressive.”
Representatives from the country’s top crypto exchanges presented figures, claiming 15 million registered users, with a total investment value at around 6 billion rupees ($80.5 million). Another estimate put the figure at 15-20 million crypto investors in India, with total crypto holdings of around 400 billion rupees ($5.39 billion).
However, the Reserve Bank of India, which has voiced “serious concerns” about private crypto, was skeptical of these figures. A senior official believes the RBI hopes to ultimately ban private crypto-assets in favor of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), which could debut as early as December.