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India’s Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman says cryptocurrencies will take up most of the chat time during this year’s upcoming G20 presidency event in India.
Nirmala Sitharaman on Crypto in India
Not long ago, Sitharaman visited Washington and explained in a statement:
Given so many collapses and shocks in cryptocurrencies, we seek to develop a common framework for all countries to deal with this matter.
She was referring to the fateful fall of FTX, once one of the top digital currency exchanges in the world. The company came crashing down in November of last year in a very unexpected fashion, and there are many governments and regulators out there doing all they can to try and avoid another (similar) situation like that happening. They are allegedly concerned about investors’ funds, and they don’t want to see crypto executives commingling them with business assets the way Sam Bankman-Fried did.
Sitharaman was participating in a roundtable discussion in Washington in which she discussed India’s future regarding crypto and upcoming business opportunities pertaining to the digital currency arena.
A few months ago, Shaktikanta Das – the governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) – said he doesn’t think crypto assets have any place in India and he would prefer to do away with all of them, no matter how big or important they might seem. He said:
RBI’s position is very clear. It should be banned, all of them. The technology of blockchain needs to be supported.
Sitharaman further commented during the roundtable meeting:
Free trade agreements are being signed in a much faster way, nowadays. We’ve just concluded one with Australia. Earlier, we concluded with UAE, Mauritius, and with ASEAN. We have extended the quota-free and tariff-free regime to least developed countries.
India has long had a very up-and-down relationship with bitcoin and crypto. Back in 2018, the nation announced that traditional financial institutions would not be allowed to do any work or business with crypto firms. While many outlets reported that crypto was receiving a full-on ban, this wasn’t quite true, and it was just that banks and other standard financial platforms were no longer allowed to provide tools or services to blockchain and crypto-based enterprises.
Turning Things Around
About two years later, the nation’s Supreme Court decided that such action was unconstitutional, and a reversal was initiated. From there, many analysts thought India would become the next big crypto haven of the world, and for a while, it looked like this was going to be the path the nation took, though eventually, the country’s parliament began discussing a full crypto ban in which trading or being involved in assets would be punishable by fines and even prison sentences.
At the time of writing, no official decisions regarding the potential ban have been made yet.