The mainstream media of our country is at it once again – based on the information collected from their unnamed sources, one more prominent media house is claiming that the government is considering a complete ban on cryptocurrencies. A few months ago similar reports had come from Moneycontrol, which is controlled by Network 18, and now Economic Times of The Times Group is claiming that a draft regulation to make it possible is being circulated internally among government officials.
The draft bill, according to ET’s report, is titled “Banning of Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies Bill 2019”. It has been circulated to all relevant government departments, ET’s report says. Those departments may include Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), and Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), as all of them have suggested a complete ban on cryptocurrencies. A committee comprising of representatives from these departments feels that there has already been a lot of delay in taking action against cryptocurrencies. The minutes of the meeting held by this committee have somehow been review by ET, and in those minutes at one point someone has said “There is an urgent need to ban sale purchase and issuance of cryptocurrency”.
The committee, according to ET, has also observed that since cryptocurrencies facilitate money laundering, a ban on them can be imposed under the existing Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), in its feedback to DEA, has said that sale, purchase and insurance of cryptocurrencies is being done by individuals and companies based on false inducement of massive returns. Such schemes are neither transparent nor falling under the purview of existing legal framework. Many of them, ET report says, are being run as Ponzi schemes to defraud gullible investors. Since making a dedicated regulatory framework for these schemes may take time, until it’s in place the ban should be imposed under PMLA, MCA has suggested.
So, is crypto space of India headed towards an end?
The report is once again based on some unnamed sources, and it says the same thing: that government wants to ban crypto in India. Similar reports have also been published multiple times before. It’s same old wine in same old bottle. Nothing new in it. We would advise you to take it with a grain of salt, as nothing can be confirmed until some sort of official confirmation comes from the government. Let’s wait and watch till then!