According to a leading local media outlet TheNewIndianExpress (TNIE) on December 26, a new governmental committee has expressed support to legalize cryptocurrencies in India.
On the promise of anonymity, a senior official who participated in the panel’s meeting stated that there was a consensus to not dismiss cryptocurrency as entirely illegal.
Past government panel meetings proposed a complete prohibition on cryptocurrencies and indicated that any dealing involving crypto should be considered illegal. It was followed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) banning cryptocurrency banking in the country last April.
The current inter-ministerial committee, led by the Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, was created to settle opposing opinions regarding the RBI ban. It included members of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Securities and Exchange Board of India, RBI, and the revenue secretary. The new committee has already conducted two meetings and is expecting to hold the third meeting in January 2019.
According to the unnamed senior official, the committee members have received inputs from experts and crypto exchanges. He also stated that they would be working on legal matters with the law ministry of India.
Earlier this month, a report from Cointelegraph stated that G20 countries demanded cryptocurrency taxation, as well as its regulations to battle money laundering. Executive Director of RBI Ganesh Kumar and some officials of the Ministry of Finance who participated in the G20 meetings are required to provide insights about the said global discussions on their report.
Last October, a local news outlet reported that India’s first Bitcoin “ATM” operators who were also the founders of crypto exchange, Unocoin, were arrested on criminal charges of forgery, cheating, and conspiracy.
India’s Central Crime Branch followed a press statement stating that the Indian government had not approved the Bitcoin ATM. Cyber lawyer Prashant Mali noted that if the developers have written the term “kiosk” instead of “ATM,” then the applicability of RBI’s regulation would have befallen into a gray space in India’s law.