Infosys Chairman calls on India to accept crypto

Nandan Nilekani believes that accepting crypto as a commodity would be beneficial to the Indian economy.

Indian businessman Nandan Nilekani has pushed his country to accept cryptocurrencies as an asset in the belief that it „would allow crypto people to put their assets into the Indian economy.“

Nilekani is Co-founder and Non-Executive Chairman of Infosys, a business consulting and IT services company that aims to provide a variety of digital tools to its multinational clients through the use of blockchain technology. Last year, Infosys secured deals with Vanguard and Daimler.

The fate of cryptocurrencies and their holders in India is still somewhat unclear. Back in April 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a ban on cryptocurrency sales and purchases due to concerns about money laundering and terrorist financing.

The ban was overturned by the Supreme Court in March 2020. However, another ban was proposed earlier this year that would criminalize the possession, trading, transfer, issuance and mining of crypto assets.

This could be a major blow to India’s emerging crypto sector, which includes Matic Network, InstaDApp and the WazirX and CoinDCX exchanges. The ban would also be unwelcome for the growing number of crypto investors in the country, whose number is estimated at 8 million and who hold crypto assets worth 100 billion rupees ($1.4 billion).

Indian companies have been instructed to disclose their crypto holdings, deposits, advances and total profits and losses, but a complete ban is still under discussion. In the meantime, however, the RBI is expected to work on its own digital currency.

Although Nilekani believes that India’s Unified Payments Interface is a more effective means of payment than volatile and energy – intensive cryptocurrencies, he has suggested that crypto should be viewed like a commodity-as an asset that can be bought and sold.

In an interview with the Financial Times, he explained: „Just as you invest part of your wealth in gold or real estate, you can invest part of your wealth in crypto. I think there is a role for crypto as a stored value, but certainly not in a transactional sense.“

in 2019, Nilekani headed a committee of the Central Bank for Digital Payments and he has been working with the Indian authorities for some time to create digital guidelines, such as the Aadhaar biometric identity system. Nilekani believes that access to the $ 1.5 trillion crypto market would ultimately be of great benefit to India.

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