Indian officials are reportedly changing their tune and moving toward not banning Bitcoin with a new crypto regulatory bill during an upcoming Parliament session.
According to a report by the New Indian Express on June 11, the Indian government’s negativity towards bitcoin (BTC) might be turning around. Instead of an outright ban, insiders report that India will move to regulate cryptocurrencies instead.
Backpedaling on bitcoin
The report states that the Indian authorities have scrapped their plans for a total ban and will instead move to classify cryptocurrencies as an alternative asset class. India’s Parliament will soon debate a comprehensive regulatory bill during the Monsoon Sessions that kick off at the end of July. The article states that an expert panel will be formed by the finance ministry to study protocols for regulations. Their findings will form part of the planned deliberations.
India’s Securities and Exchange Board (SEBI) will oversee the regulations for cryptocurrencies if and when the classification shifts to asset class. Word is that India’s crypto industry experts are already working with the finance ministry to create new and fair regulations.
The news comes on the heels of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), instructing banks to not avoid transactions that use virtual tokens. The RBI has done so while also understanding there are many concerns still floating around the government on digital asset issues. The Supreme Court already overturned a March 2020 RBI ban that did not allow banks to service crypto exchanges.
The Governor of the RBI, Shakthakanta Das was quoted in the report stating:
“We can definitely say that the new committee which is working on cryptocurrencies is very optimistic on cryptocurrency regulation and legislation… A new draft proposal will soon be in the Cabinet, which will look into the overall scenario and take the best step forward. We are very hopeful that the government will embrace cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.”
El Salvador is paving the way for crypto as legal tender
This change of heart from the Indian government comes just hours after El Salvador became the first nation in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. On Wednesday, Congress approved President Nayib Bukele’s proposal to incorporate cryptocurrency in a whole new way. The law passed with a vote of 62 to 22 and will move forward as a law to adopt bitcoin into the fold.
The use of bitcoin as tender will be purely optional for citizens but must be accepted by firms when offered as payment for goods and services. “If you go to a McDonald’s or whatever, they cannot say we’re not going to take your bitcoin, they have to take it by law because it’s a legal tender,” Bukele said. Tax contributions are included in those services. Burkele said that the government will guarantee convertibility to USD at the time of the transaction via a trust at the country’s BANDESAL bank.
The use of bitcoin as tender will start 90 days from yesterday with the exchange rate set by the world market. The President added that neither the government nor Central Bank currently holds any bitcoin.