India will soon have its own rules on bitcoin. The responsibilities of various regulators have been determined, a high-ranking official revealed. Relevant institutions are currently finalizing a comprehensive government policy on cryptocurrencies. Representatives of the Indian crypto community, meanwhile, have quashed fears of an imminent ban.
Crypto Policy Being Framed
The roles of various regulators in regards to cryptocurrencies have been decided already, the Chairman of India’s Securities and Exchange Board told reporters on Saturday. Amid continuing volatility on the markets and growing concerns about investors’ protection, Ajay Tyagi said the expected regulations should be out soon, the New Indian Express reported. He declined to provide further details, insisting officials would do that after the comprehensive government policy is finalized and announced.
Tyagi’s comments come after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented Budget 2018 this month. While explaining its key policies, Jaitley reiterated a previously stated position: Cryptocurrency is not recognized as legal tender in India and the government “will take all measures to eliminate“ its use in financing illegitimate activities. Indian authorities will instead encourage blockchain technology in payment systems, he said in his budget speech on February 1.
SEBI has asked the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) to call a meeting on regulation matters on the next day, the Board’s chairman revealed. Ajay Tyagi was obviously referring to the panel set up to propose a regulatory framework after examining cryptocurrencies and their implications. “We have actually decided which regulator will do what and the committee should come out with the regulations very quickly”, he added. Tyagi promised his agency “will fully contribute to this” objective and insisted, “We want a policy to be framed first”.
Back in December the Finance Ministry announced it was creating a special panel to follow developments, including the volume of bitcoin related trade, and help speed up the process of adopting crypto regulation. Representatives of DEA, the Reserve Bank of India, and the Income Tax Department were invited to join the committee.
Suspense in India, but no Fear
According to previous media reports, new regulations were expected by the end of March. They are likely to involve anti-money laundering procedures and measures to prevent tax evasion. Suspecting dubious transactions, authorities have targeted cryptocurrency exchanges in the country and banks have suspended some of their accounts. More recently, India’s Income Tax Department announced it had issued notices to 100,000 cryptocurrency investors after monitoring the operations of leading trading platforms…