India is expected to pass a bill that would criminalize cryptocurrencies, according to a Reuters report that cites an unnamed government official.
Apart from making it illegal to trade and mine cryptocurrencies, it would also prohibit their possession.
Cryptocurrency investors will be able to cash out their gains in half a year without facing any legal repercussions.
It remains unclear whether the draconian bill will include mandatory prison sentences for those who fail to abide by the law.
While the details of the bill remain unknown, it would represent the biggest crackdown on crypto for any major economy. Although digital assets have been banned in China since September 2017, Chinese people can still legally hold cryptocurrencies.
Unfortunately for the local cryptocurrency industry, the bill is widely expected to get the greenlight since the party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a commanding majority.
India banning Bitcoin is so 2019
In early 2019, a government panel published a draft bill that recommends a jail sentence of up to 10 years for anyone who mines, holds, transfers, or issues cryptocurrencies. It is still legal to own crypto assets in India.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) barred financial firms from dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges in April 2018. This ban was later struck down by the Supreme Court last March.
However, India renewed its plan to introduce a law to ban crypto trading last September.
As reported by U.Today, India’s central bank is also working on a digital rupee.