If details being disseminated through media outlets in India are correct, the country is certainly not ready to embrace cryptocurrencies. Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg announced last week that a government-commissioned report on crypto regulations was almost complete, and that he and his staff were only putting the final touches in place. If there were a chance that those regulations would have been friendly to the crypto ecosystem, what has surfaced through the media outlets doesn’t show it.
Details of the upcoming report have allegedly been leaked to the media and industry experts have been given access to the details in order to provide their assessments. Garg is reportedly going to propose a bill, “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019,” that will change the direction of crypto in India forever.
According to India’s The Economic Times, who cited someone in the government who didn’t want to be named, “The government has kicked off interministerial consultations on a draft bill to ban cryptocurrencies and regulate official digital currencies.”
Another news outlet, Bloombergquint, is behind the rumor that India could propose a jail term of up to ten years for using crypto. However, the experts who reviewed the bill determined that there was no language that specifically outlined jail terms for all use – only for certain activities.
Bloombergquint journalist Nikunj Ohri shared alleged sections of the bill on Twitter. One of these states, “Whoever directly or indirectly mines, generates, holds, sells, deals in, transfers, disposes of or issues cryptocurrency or any combination thereof with an intent to use it for any of the purposes mentioned in, or directly or indirectly uses cryptocurrency for any of the activities mentioned in clauses (e), (g) and/or (h) of sub-section (1) of Section 8 shall be punishable with fine as may be prescribed by the central government in the first schedule or with imprisonment which shall not be less than one year but which may extend up to ten years,