Well, after all this talk and chatter, it looks like India is ready to make its cryptocurrency ban official, and anyone who steps out of line will pay penalties and may even serve jail time.
India Is Looking at a Full Crypto Ban Soon
India has had a very up-and-down relationship with bitcoin and the cryptocurrency space. The country initially banned all crypto businesses from obtaining access to standard financial services back in the year 2018. While trading crypto wasn’t necessarily stopped in its tracks, a lot of exchanges and other digital asset-based firms were unable to obtain access to standard credit and equity, which prevented them from staying operational.
However, two years later the country’s Supreme Court ruled that this was unconstitutional and lifted the ban. Everyone thought this was a huge step forward and that India was about to become one of the primary countries involved in digital currency, and this became true for about five minutes. It wasn’t long after that the world was told India was looking to initiate a full ban on all crypto activity, and now it looks like the nation is fully moving in this direction.
Right now, the law is only being proposed and hasn’t been fully implemented yet. However, should the rule go through, anyone holding cryptocurrencies would be penalized. An official – who at the time of writing remains anonymous – also stated that anybody with cryptocurrency in their possession would be given approximately six months to sell or get rid of all their assets before punishments would be applied.
Naturally, many analysts and industry heads are taking this hard. What could have been a serious mover and shaker in the cryptocurrency space is likely to endure a heavy reversal. Right now, it’s estimated that as many as eight million people in the nation of India hold as much as $1.4 billion in cryptocurrency. This is a lot of activity and a lot of assets to liquidate within the time allotted.
One crypto investor named Sumnesh Salodkar explained in an interview:
The money is multiplying rapidly every month and you don’t want to be sitting on the sidelines. Even though people are panicking due to the potential ban, greed is driving these choices.
In addition, the past several months saw many of India’s cryptocurrency exchanges vastly expand their list of clients, with Uno Coin – one of the largest and most popular digital trading firms in India – adding as many as 20,000 new users between January and February of this year.
Blockchain Ain’t So Bad
Regulators have also hinted that their primary problem is with cryptocurrency, but that the technology behind it doesn’t present any threats, and India may even look to harness blockchain at some point in the future. The anonymous official explained:
We don’t have a problem with technology. There’s no harm in harnessing the technology.