Despite reports of the Indian government planning to ban cryptocurrencies, NDTV reported Thursday that a cabinet note circulated by the government indicates that cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin and ether, will not be banned.
Emphasizing that cryptocurrency is not recognized as legal currency in India, the publication noted:
The legislation also describes cryptocurrency as crypto asset.
According to the cabinet note, crypto exchange platforms will be regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the regulatory body for securities and commodity markets in India under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance.
In addition, “A cut-off date will be prescribed for those having cryptoassets to declare and bring under the crypto exchange platforms — which will be regulated by the market regulator,” the publication added, elaborating:
All those found violating the exchange provisions will be penalized with criminal imprisonment of up to one and a half years.
In addition, the regulator may levy penalties in the range of 50 million rupees to 200 million rupees ($2.67 million).
Anyone using crypto assets for terror-related activities will be punished under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Furthermore, India’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) has not been clubbed with the new crypto legislation, the news outlet noted. The country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), is currently working on a digital rupee model that is expected to be unveiled by year-end.
Earlier this week, India’s finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, answered some questions in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, the two houses of India’s parliament. She said that the crypto bill needed to be reworked but did not say whether cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin and ether, will be banned.