The cat is out of the box finally. Government has acknowledged the existence of a draft bill that suggests banning of cryptocurrencies. In a press release published today the Press Information Bureau (PIB) of India confirmed that Garg Committee has submitted its report on cryptocurrencies to the finance ministry. The press release also confirmed that the report has been submitted along with a draft bill that suggests the banning of “private cryptocurrencies” while hauling the potential of distributed ledger technology. Here are a few excerpts from that press release:
“In the Report, the Group has highlighted the positive aspect of distributed-ledger technology (DLT) and suggested various applications, especially in financial services, for use of DLT in India. The DLT-based systems can be used by banks and other financial firms for processes such as loan-issuance tracking, collateral management, fraud detection and claims management in insurance, and reconciliation systems in the securities market.
As for private cryptocurrencies, given the risks associated with them and volatility in their prices, the Group has recommended banning of the cryptocurrencies in India and imposing fines and penalties for carrying on of any activities connected with cryptocurrencies in India.”
The Economic Affairs Secretary, Mr. Subhash Garg, also tweeted a statement about an hour ago on this report. Have a look:
Committee is very receptive and supportive of distributed ledger technologies and recommends its widespread use in delivering financial services. It also opens up door for a possible official digital rupee. Private crypto currencies are of no real value. Rightly banned.
— Subhash Chandra Garg (@SecretaryDEA) July 22, 2019
Coming back to the Press release, as you can see, it reveals that the report has also been published online on the website of DEA. We’re going through it, and will publish the major observations from it by tomorrow morning. But at the moment the crux of the matter is that Indian bureaucracy doesn’t understand shi* about technology! Now it’s upon the government to involve industry stakeholders into discussion before accepting the recommendations made by this committee. And we expect them to do so, largely because they’ve had a very open mind towards adoption of technology till date.
Interestingly, the report has been made public on a very crucial day. It’s the hearing of crypto case in the Supreme Court tomorrow, and the details of this report have been made public just a day before the crucial hearing. Will some sort of announcement be made by the government in Court? It remains to be seen, along with a number of other things. We’ll be keeping an eye on every development tomorrow and will update you at the earliest regarding whatever unfolds, so don’t forget to check our updates.