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Bitcoin Ban Remains Possible in India, Says Finance Secretary

Fri, 02/04/2022 - 14:25
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Alex Dovbnya
Cryptocurrency investors are not out of the woods just yet in India as the government remains undecided about the legal status of digital assets
Bitcoin Ban Remains Possible in India, Says Finance Secretary
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In a recently published interview, India's financial secretary, T.V. Somanathan, told Outlook magazine that a cryptocurrency ban could still be on the table.

He also said that taxing cryptocurrencies will not necessarily make them regulated, reiterating the clarification provided by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman:

Should cryptocurrency be banned, regulated or remain unregulated and not banned?—all possibilities are open. It can be banned, it can be regulated or it can be left neither regulated nor banned but taxed.

Earlier this week, Sitharaman announced a 30% levy on cryptocurrency assets in a move that many erroneously interpreted as legalizing crypto.

Somanathan says that the government rushed to implement a tax regime for cryptocurrencies in order to avoid a slew of disputes caused by uncertainly related to the taxability of the nascent asset class.

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The finance secretary claims that cryptocurrencies will remain legal in India as long as there is no blanket ban.

With close to 1.4 billion people, India boasts one of the biggest cryptocurrency communities, but regulatory uncertainty remains a major concern for investors.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed a ban on cryptocurrency transactions back in 2018, but it was then lifted by the Supreme Court in March 2020.

In November, a bill prohibiting mining and holding private cryptocurrencies appeared on the government's legislative agenda. However, the controversial legislation was dropped shortly after that, with local media reporting that the country's securities watchdog would be responsible for regulating digital assets.

As reported by U.Today, India's long-anticipated crypto bill would not be introduced during the parliament session as lawmakers continue having discussions with stakeholders regarding its content.

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About the author

Alex Dovbnya (aka AlexMorris) is a cryptocurrency expert, trader and journalist with extensive experience of covering everything related to the burgeoning industry — from price analysis to Blockchain disruption. Alex authored more than 1,000 stories for U.Today, CryptoComes and other fintech media outlets. He’s particularly interested in regulatory trends around the globe that are shaping the future of digital assets, can be contacted at