The Indian Government has submitted a bill calling for the ban of most private cryptocurrencies to be introduced in their Parliament’s winter session. The proposed bill comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comprehensive review of cryptocurrencies earlier this month.
Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 has been added to the list of India’s Parliamentary winter session.
The goal of the Bill is “to create a facilitative framework for creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India,” the Parliament of India wrote in a bulletin.
The Bill would largely ban private cryptocurrencies in India while “allow[ing] for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses”.
The framework embedded in the Bill leaves room for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s plans to develop its own Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
CBDCs are the digital or virtual version of a bank’s official currency. CBDCs are fully backed by the government and regulated by the bank. RBI has said they are looking to launch their own CBDC in 2022.
Cryptocurrency trading in India has been on the rise, while RBI has expressed “serious concerns from the point of view of macroeconomic and financial stability” on the issue.
RBI banned the use of cryptocurrencies within its bank in 2018, although the judgment was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2020.
The Indian Government suggested in a meeting last month it planned to take “progressive” and “forward-looking” steps regarding the future of cryptocurrency, according to Asia News International.
Although the Bill may dash hopes for crypto fans, it is largely in line with statements from the government and prime minister who have raised concerns that cryptocurrencies leave openings for money laundering and other financial crime.
The Indian Parliament’s winter session will commence on 29 November 2021.