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Opinion: Flawed Headlines Seriously Hampering India’s Cryptocurrency Truth

Many conspicuous headlines have tried to portray a different picture of what is happening in India around Cryptocurrency regulations.

On July 22, 2019 the Inter-ministerial committee setup by the Indian Government to report on the feasibility of regulating Cryptocurrencies released its report in public. Since then media and individuals from around the world have tried to interpret the report and its companion, a draft bill to ban cryptocurrencies, in their own way.

Most of them have gotten the information right. But to attract the readers and viewers to their site, they have not been entirely honest within their headlines.

I want to lay a few facts here before I show the flawed headlines and its consequences.

Highlights of the Cryptocurrency Report by IMC:

  1. IMC thinks DLT – Distributed Ledger Technology should be encouraged and explored more.
  2. Cryptocurrencies are compared with Ponzi and have been recommended to be completely banned.
  3. However, a digital currency approved by the government like a central bank Digital currency or a digital Rupee is encouraged.

The committee was lead by Subhash Chandra Garg, secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs. However, since the report went public, Garg was reshuffled to the power ministry and then he has already applied for an early retirement. But it could have very less to do with the report, as the report submitted is dated February 28, 2019 and could have more to do with his involvement in the sovereign bond plan of the Finance ministry.

We were in possession of draft crypto bill few days before it was made public. An article on BQ allegedly had access to it a full month before it was made public. But this is not how it was portrayed in the popular crypto media portals.

The “Flawed” Headline on

The first instance of an incorrect headline was from one of the most popular news site and one of my favourite journalist Kevin Helms. The article is wonderfully written with all the relevant data but the headline, the headline makes you believe that Garg quit after drafting Crypto Bill.

Not just that, people from around the country started sharing this article, stating there is hope because the committee may revisit this bill. But will they though? Will the committee setup in 2017, after 1.5 years revisit a bill that was presented long before the secretary’s exit?

Article on on latest Crypto Banning Draft Bill

A senior market analyst at etoro tweeted this, and this just shows how much less understood is the Crypto ecosystem or even the legal ecosystem of India.

The “Fake News” on CryptoNewsZ

If’s interpretation wasn’t enough, I received a few messages from people asking me if the Bill has already been tabled in the parliament. To which the answer is NO. But seems like this news portal did not get the memo.

Cryptonewsz with a fake headline about Crypto Bill’s introduction in parliament

There are so many articles with clickbait-y headlines that we see everyday being floated in our telegram group, it is hard to keep count. Fortunately, not all of them have larger impacts.

The truth is that the bill is real, the report is real, the Supreme court hearing that is being pushed to July 30 is real, but Garg’s resignation isn’t going to change a thing and Bill hasn’t reached the parliament yet.

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