India plans to introduce new law to ban Bitcoin, other private cryptocurrencies

The Bill also aims to outlaw all private cryptocurrencies in India but provides for some provisions to use cryptocurrency technologies.


On 29 January 2021, in circular number 2,022, in the ‘E’ new bills section under Legislative business, the Indian government proposed a new bill. The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 as named by the government will “create a facilitative framework for creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India.” The Bill also aims to outlaw all private cryptocurrencies in India but provides for some provisions to support and use the underlying cryptocurrency technologies.

The agenda read that it will "prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses," the agenda said.

The panel also asked the government to consider the launch of an official government-backed digital currency in India, to function like bank notes, through the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The issue is expected to be taken up in the fifth session of the 17th Lok Sabha, 2021.

 India plans to introduce new law to ban Bitcoin, other private cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin

In April 2018, the RBI directed financial institutions to cut all ties with individuals or firms trading with virtual currencies such as Bitcoin within three months. For those trading with digital currency, the commission further proposed a prison sentence of up to 10 years and substantial penalties.

(Also Read: Draft bill proposes 10-year non-bailable jail term for dealing in cryptocurrency)

However, in 2020, the Supreme Court allowed banks to control exchanges and traders' cryptocurrency transactions, overturning a central bank prohibition on such transactions that had come as a significant blow to the booming industry.

(Also Read: Cryptocurrency Bitcoin breaks above $20,000 barrier for the first time ever while ethereum and XRP also gain)


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