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Exclusive on 10-Year Crypto Jail-Term : RTI Reveals No Information Available With A Regulator Mentioned in the Article

The validity of Bloomberg Quint article regarding 10-year jail-term on dealing in cryptocurrencies has come under more doubts. A RTI request filed by us has revealed that IRDA, an authority mentioned in that article, has no information on the subject.

June 14, 2019 11:34
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Ever since Bloomberg Quint published an article citing the leaked draft cryptocurrency bill that they claimed to have accessed, there has been a lot of FUD regarding the future of cryptocurrencies in India. The FUD is mainly because their “exclusive” article claimed that dealing in cryptocurrencies can lead to a jail term of up to 10 years. Like many people in the crypto community, I too had many doubts regarding various claims made in that article, and I had articulated all my doubts in a separate article published a few days ago. If you read my article, you may know already that I had also said in it towards the end that we’ve filed some RTI requests to check how genuine those claims made in Bloomberg Quint article are.

Now, today one of the RTIs filed by me has led to a response. The Bloomberg Article we’re talking about had claimed that the government may constitute a separate board to monitor crypto transactions (or crypto related cases), and the board will include members from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), SEBI and other concerned departments. Here’s the exact paragraph written in that article:

“It seeks to have an appropriate regulator under the Act that will have representatives from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, RBI, SEBI and any other regulator notified by the Central Government.”

In this paragraph, “It” in the beginning refers to the same draft bill that Bloomberg Quint claimed to have accessed. Now, I had doubt over this paragraph because the nature of work that IRDAI and PFRDA do doesn’t come anywhere close to the cryptocurrency sector. Neither India’s Insurance industry nor the Pension Funds operating here are dealing with crypto in any way. So why would they be involved in forming rules related to crypto? We had also not heard of them ever before whenever any news related to crypto regulation came out.

Those were my doubts. But still I don’t rule out any possibility when it comes to legal matters, so I took that particular point made in the article, though with a grain of salt. To extract more information on the matter I filed an RTI request with IRDAI, asking them if they’ve been part of the committee drafting cryptocurrency regulations. And today I’ve received their response, which is: “No information available.”

Have a look at the reply sent to me by IRDAI about an hour ago:

Response of IRDAI

This further increases the doubts regarding how genuine that Bloomberg article was. Can a regulator be assigned as a member of any Board without being consulted first? If Garg committee members indeed had any plans of involving IRDAI in crypto regulation, wouldn’t they have involved IRDAI in discussions while drafting the crypto regulation bill?

We’ve filed some more RTI requests as well, and hopefully, the picture will be clearer after they’re answered.

Technology and business were my core interests, so it wasn't surprising that I got interested in cryptocurrencies, which operate at the intersection of both these things. Now I live my passion by trading cryptocurrencies and covering Cryptocurrency news. You can connect with me on Facebook to learn more about me. :)

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