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New Crypto Bill: Finance Minister

The bill was updated to consider the recent developments in the crypto space.

On Tuesday, in the Rajya Sabha, the Union Finance Minister of India, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, revealed that the proposed legislative bill for cryptocurrency regulation is not the previous one.

It is a new bill.

While answering the query of fellow lawmaker Mr. Sushil Kumar Modi, she explained that the bill is not the same as the old one. Once the Cabinet approves the bill, it will be tabled in the house.

The crypto space is evolving quickly, so considering its dynamic nature, the bill was updated to take into account the recent developments.

Additionally, Mr. Modi asked if the Government is considering a separate legal framework for Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT), and also asked the number of people that have paid tax and the amount of tax collected on cryptocurrency.

The Finance Minister explained that she did not have the information on tax ready and cannot say whether there will be a separate legal framework (for NFTs) or not. But, everything is being considered.

Member of Parliament, Dr. Amar Patnaik highlighted that the Inter-Ministerial Committee on cryptocurrency was set up in November 2017. It gave its report in February 2019. Since then the crypto industry has evolved into something very different.

“The context and the growth of crypto took place actually in the last 3 years, which has increased about 10 times. So, this report’s relevance may not be there as much.”

Furthermore, he asked what the Government is doing to increase the ‘regulatory capacity’ of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). 

She replied that all the concerns he pointed out are taken care of in the bill.

The issue of the advertisement deluge was raised repeatedly. The Finance Minister said that the general public will be cautioned about the risks in a more strenuous way.

The Government is studying the guidelines of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) so that it could take necessary action.

She also said that we are on the ‘brink of introducing the bill’.

India is bracing for regulations for quite long. The space is leapfrogging with every day. So, clarity of regulations is becoming more important with every passing day. 

Currently, India is ranked 2nd in the Chainalysis Global Crypto Adoption Index. Two crypto exchanges turned unicorn this year. And, the amount of money invested by Indians is also increasing. That’s why the standpoint of the Government is eagerly expected by the crypto community.

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