New Panel to Address India’s Current Crypto Status

Amid uncertainty over the country’s crypto stance, India wants to take a friendlier approach to digital assets.

In late March, the Indian government amended legislation that forced private and public companies to disclose crypto assets they held. This came a few weeks after the finance minister made remarks that clouded the country’s policy on cryptocurrencies. The country had a somewhat volatile relationship with digital assets, which confused citizens.

A report published on Tuesday by The Economic Times according to India, it is now exploring the possibility of regulating cryptocurrencies. The report, citing three sources familiar with the matter, describes in detail an expert panel that will examine the options. He adds that the discussions are still in the early stages and that no firm commitments have been made so far.

Unlike a fiat currency, the committee will consider cryptocurrencies as digital assets. Other Indian crypto exchange operators have already adopted this view. The panel, previously led by Subhash-Chandra, concluded in July 2019 that a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies was in order. However, the Supreme Court rushed to the aid of crypto users in March 2020, ruling that the ban was unlawful. The government seems to agree after calling Subhash Garg’s recommendations outdated:

“There is an opinion […]that the recommendations of the Subhash Garg [Komitees] are outdated and a new look is required […] instead of a total ban“an unnamed official told the newspaper.

Garg seems to have undergone a change of heart and vouches for crypto regulations for this asset class. In February, he said crypto assets needed further closure from the government. There are reports that India’s Secretary of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur, is likely to head the new body.

Reports suggest that Thakur has already made progress by meeting with key players in the country’s crypto and banking industries. The issue seems to have a true core, considering that Thakur and the current finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman not so long ago betraythat the country takes a “calibrated” approach to regulating digital assets.

The ministry is reportedly reviewing the current status of crypto trading. A Sitharaman-endorsed team is expected to report on the issue before the end of the month. Due to the fact that the crypto bill, which was originally supposed to be up for discussion in March, has been postponed to the next monsoon parliamentary session, the crypto situation in the country remains diffuse.

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