Bitcoin started out as a niche asset that made people’s jaws drop. It was a digital currency that had no real world value and couldn’t be mined. It was really only used for illicit activities like buying drugs online or stealing identities online. But the world has changed. The sector is now worth billions of dollars and there’s a lot of money to be made in it. That’s not all. Cryptocurrencies have evolved into blockchain technology and Ethereum has become the go-to platform for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). India’s stance on Bitcoin and crypto is evolving.

A country that has one of the largest populations in terms of population and landmass in the world, India has been slow in embracing the cryptocurrency trend. Its government has been criticized for not regulating the crypto market. However, the politicians of the country have recently taken an interest in the crypto technology.

The central government in India has often been critical of cryptocurrencies, but that appears to be changing. Earlier this year, the central bank of the country issued a press release stating that it did not consider virtual currency legal tender, and that it would treat such assets as “property for money laundering”. However, the government has recently come under pressure to reconsider this position, with India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley suggesting that the government should allow cryptocurrencies to operate in the country.. Read more about is bitcoin legal in india and let us know what you think.

India’s stance on Bitcoin and crypto is evolving

The Reserve Bank of India has long condemned the use of cryptocurrencies, but apart from the Supreme Court’s rejection of the 2018 Act last year, the Indian government’s stance on cryptocurrencies is largely unclear.

On the one hand, highly placed sources following the government’s position say it has moved away from the idea of a total ban. On the other hand, a growing number of banks, including ICICI Bank, Paytm Payments, Yes Bank and most recently IDFC First Bank, have started banning cryptocurrency companies from their services.

The position of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is clear. As the body responsible for ensuring the country’s ability to absorb financial shocks, it has repeatedly highlighted the risks associated with the use of cryptocurrencies. Some banks are still citing the 2018 circular as a reason for freezing cryptocurrency-related accounts, despite the RBI lifting it earlier this year.

India’s market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, would monitor legislation in the cryptocurrency sector once bitcoin (BTC) is classified as an asset class. Sources also suggest that an expert panel will be set up to study the technology and a bill to regulate cryptocurrencies will be discussed in the monsoon session of Parliament.

Tax problem

India has taken drastic measures to reduce the amount of cash that is not taxed, including the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1 000 notes in 2016. One of the Indian government’s biggest concerns is that cryptocurrencies provide anonymity to their users and can be used to fund terrorism, launder money and support other forms of criminal activity. However, this raises the question of whether cryptocurrency investors should pay a price for the inefficiencies of digital enforcement.

Since the Supreme Court ruling in March 2023, cryptocurrency trading has gained tremendous popularity in India, especially among millennials and Generation Z investors, Sumit Gupta, CEO of Indian cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX, told Cointelegraph : Well-intentioned regulation will help strengthen the crypto ecosystem in our country.

In March, state finance minister Anurag Singh Thakur had said that the government levies tax on cryptocurrency revenues and even collects tax on goods and services from the exchanges. However, he also noted that the government does not keep data on cryptocurrency revenues as it does not have the resources to collect this information, Gupta added:

We will continue to work with other colleagues in the cryptocurrency industry to present our joint proposals to the authorities.

Shivam Thakral, CEO of BuyUcoin, one of India’s leading exchanges, believes the RBI will eventually come to its senses. I firmly believe that the RBI is not opposed to financial innovation that can boost the Indian economy and create jobs for the youth, he added: The RBI is particularly concerned about the abuse of power in crypto assets.

But Sidharth Sogani, founder and CEO of crypto-currency research firm Crebaco Global, is much more optimistic about India’s willingness to adopt blockchain technology. Technologically we are ready. A regulated environment is easy to live with, [and] it will allow the government to monitor cryptocurrency transactions, he said, adding further: India needs a special department to regulate the crypto space. If we don’t regulate them, it will only fuel the black market, Thakral added:

I have full confidence in the RBI and we can expect clear regulatory guidelines for crypto assets in the near future.

The country’s approach to classifying cryptocurrencies as an asset class is positive news for the sector, as it follows the paths taken by other countries to create a better framework for decentralized currencies.

Cryptocurrencies have been considered a digital asset by the Australian tax authorities for some time, according to Michael Swan, founder and chief operating officer of wealth management company Unido. He also delivered the following opinion: We consider India’s decision to be a natural development and in line with the general mood.

However, there are concerns about the crypto currency regulation bill that will be introduced in parliament. After the RBI circular in 2018, the government set up a panel to look into the new crypto. In 2019, the group recommended a total ban on digital currencies.

Young and hungry

India’s finance minister said India would not shut down all cryptocurrency options, which some have interpreted as a possible ban on private cryptocurrencies and paving the way for a state-backed central bank digital currency (CBDC). But since the younger generation craves digital assets as much as the older generation craves gold, this could be a big missed opportunity for Millennials and Generation Z, who are just getting started.

The inability of the RBI to provide sufficient evidence to the Supreme Court to justify the ban on cryptocurrencies means that there is some pressure on the Indian authorities to allow cryptocurrencies in the country. However, Indian investors, especially the youth, have gone from confusion to discontent as the lack of clarity on regulations leads to fear of missing out on the massive opportunities that the cryptocurrency markets offer.

India is one of the youngest countries and has many early adopters of this technology. We are now seeing more and more people between the ages of 24 and 40 start using cryptocurrencies, Gupta said. However, when asked whether India’s plans for the CBDC had any substance, he declined to comment. Soghani added:

India needs a special department to regulate the crypto space. Not regulating them will only fuel the black market.

After the RBI released a brochure outlining possible plans for the CBDC, there was no comment from the media about India’s official CBDC, Thakral said, adding further: We have seen reports of major banks moving to blockchain, and this could be a sign that banks are laying the groundwork for CBDC to become a reality.

Indian investors are confident in the long-term growth of the sector, despite the recent stock market crash, and experts and market leaders are optimistic about how authorities will regulate cryptocurrencies in the country. Although progress has been slow, there seems to be progress, but with a market of nearly a billion users, India’s position on cryptocurrencies is of global significance.The country has been extremely uneasy about Bitcoin and its underlying blockchain technology, with the government’s revenue department even declaring that it was a “Ponzi scheme”. The country’s stance towards Bitcoin and crypto has been evolving rapidly over the past few months and it looks as if that evolution is taking a positive turn.. Read more about cryptocurrency news today india and let us know what you think.

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