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Crypto is NOT BANNED in India. IMC report recommending a ban is fundamentally flawed.

By July 25, 2019March 22nd, 20224 minute read

First things first. CRYPTO IS NOT BANNED IN INDIA.

Please don’t panic, the report by the inter-ministerial committee (IMC) is just a recommendation which has to go through many stages before it gets approved and becomes a law. The road ahead is not easy, but we’ll do whatever it takes to keep the crypto fire burning in India.

IMPORTANT: WazirX is an international exchange registered outside India, and will continue to operate. Holding crypto on WazirX is similar to holding crypto on any other international exchange. In case there are any regulation changes in India that will affect you, be assured that we will inform you well ahead of time.

The effect of India-specific regulations on WazirX will be the same as on any other international exchange.

What if the report recommendation gets approved as a law?

The IMC has submitted their report along with a Draft Bill “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2019” to the Finance Ministry. IMC’s recommendation has to pass several stages before it becomes law, or IF it becomes a law.

As a next step, this report and draft bill will now be examined in consultation with all the concerned departments and regulatory authorities before the government takes a final decision. It is also possible that the government may establish a standing committee to revisit the issues addressed in the report as and when required.

After this, if the government decides to go ahead with the ban, this bill will be presented in parliament for debate, and vote. If it’s approved by the majority, it will be sent to the President for his approval as per Article 111. Only after his assent, can a bill become an Act of Parliament.

We look at this report as a step forward for the Indian crypto industry. The next step is for all of us to ensure that we make our Government understand how flawed this report is and that the Government should involve the industry experts and prepare a better researched and technically sound report for Crypto.

What’s wrong with the IMC report?

Everything. I hope that the Indian government will keep an open mind, and not take such a regressive decision that will push us decades behind. IMC’s report is flawed, and lacks a fundamental understanding of cryptocurrencies.

  • It’s unfair to allow a committee made up of non-technologists to make a decision on an innovative technology still in the nascent stage. It’s shocking to think that people from the industry were never consulted before preparing the report.
  • The report talks about implementing Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) but banning crypto. But the truth is, public distributed ledgers cannot exist without crypto. Saying “yes” to DLT but “no” to crypto is like saying you want internet (DLT) but without websites (crypto). It doesn’t make sense!
  • The report mentions that “cryptocurrency” cannot be used as a legal tender or currency. Again, currency is just one of the many possible use-cases of crypto. Crypto can also be classified as asset (like gold), utility, or even securities. Unfortunately, the committee didn’t mention this classification in their report, and it shows that they don’t have enough understanding of crypto.
  • The report has completely ignored the FATF guidelines which clearly states that crypto is not a threat to the global economy, and can be regulated properly. FATF has, in fact, even submitted a crypto standard regulation report to G20 countries, and India is a G20 member.
  • The IMC report failed to take cues from developed countries like Japan, Australia, and more that have positively regulated cryptocurrencies. The report also incorrectly mentions that crypto is banned in China, but in reality, holding crypto is not banned. Moreover, recently, Bitcoin was legally recognized by a Chinese court, whereby it was concluded that it should now be considered as digital property.
  • Take a look at this illustration mentioned in IMC’s report. It is alarming because as per this, electronic money in our bank account is not ‘Central Bank Issued’, and hence we need Central Bank Digital Currency.

What can I do to stop the recommendation from becoming a law?

The entire industry including exchanges, lawyers, traders, influencers have come together so that this draconian proposal is not accepted by the government. If you believe in crypto, hold crypto, or work in the industry — the time to act is now! Here’s how we can make our voice heard:

  1. Tweet to government about positive aspects of crypto using #IndiaWantsCrypto and tag our ministers.
  2. Write on publications, your own blog, upload youtube videos pointing out the flaws in the IMC report.
  3. Write physical letters to your local MP’s, our Finance Minister, and Prime Minister explaining why this IMC report is flawed. Very soon, we’ll also share a draft that you can use in the letter.

We’re at a crucial point in the crypto revolution in India. If we the people of this country do not act now, then our country will lag behind. We’ll lose the opportunity to participate in this new and open financial world that is being created.

Yesterday, I also went live with India Ahead News — the first national news to invite the crypto industry’s point of view. Let’s share this everywhere so that more and more news media will come forward to invite the crypto industry’s inputs and create awareness!

Spread the word by clicking here.

The time to act is now, because if this recommendation becomes law, our generation will pay a terrible price for this. Let’s unite, and fight!

Jai Hind 🇮🇳

Nischal Shetty, CEO — WazirX. On a mission to involve everyone in the blockchain revolution! Follow me on Twitter
*Above content is migrated from medium to wazirx blog
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency is not a legal tender and is currently unregulated. Kindly ensure that you undertake sufficient risk assessment when trading cryptocurrencies as they are often subject to high price volatility. The information provided in this section doesn't represent any investment advice or WazirX's official position. WazirX reserves the right in its sole discretion to amend or change this blog post at any time and for any reasons without prior notice.
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