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India Completes Draft Proposal for Bitcoin and Digital Currencies

Bitcoin users in India be ready, because there are rules and regulations coming your way pretty soon. According to a recent news report in Cointelegraph, as of early this month, the Indian government has finally completed its draft proposal work on recommendations to regulate the use of cryptocurriencies in the country effectively, a task it has been working on for a few months now.

The intergovernmental panel that was especially formed to work on the task in April this year had already submitted its plan on the matter to the Indian Finance Ministry in the first week of August.

While the contents of the draft proposal are still unknown, previous media reports highlight that some members of the panel have strong inclination towards imposing stricter regulation against the use of the cryptocurrencies in the Indian subcontinent. Others, meanwhile, want the government to come up with some kind of a tax policy for digital currencies.

Seeing the growing interest of Indians in virtual currencies like Bitcoin, the Indian government finally gave in on the high demand and started developing regulations around cryptocurrencies earlier this year.

To recall, the government constituted an Inter-Disciplinary Committee comprising nine members including representatives of RBI, SBI, NITI Aayog and Department of Financial Services in April this year and assigned them with task of deciding the future of cryptocurrencies in the Indian subcontinent and whether there’s a need to regulate or legalise them.

The committee started out by examining the existing framework on cryptocurrencies both in India and globally and was tasked to come out with measures for dealing with such virtual currencies on issues relating to consumer protection, money laundering etc. The committee was given a three months deadline to submit this report.

When it comes to the Indian subcontinent, there’s an ongoing debate about whether digital currencies like Bitcoin should be regulated or not.

While the government’s stance on the matter is still unknown, the Bitcoin industry in India is in favour of a self-regulatory body.

Talking to Bitcoinist, Zebpay co-founder Sandeep Goenka said that the creation of a self-regulatory body is not just the preference of the Indian Bitcoin Industry, but is also the best solution possible to tackle the problem of regulating virtual currencies in the Indian subcontinent. According to him, since the industry experiences constant evolution and changes, it might become a little difficult for the government to keep a track of all these adjustments and developments. Hence, a self-regulatory organization makes much more sense.

Bitcoin players in the country have time and again urged the government to provide clarify on the exact legal status of virtual currencies in India so as to enlighten the consumers who are still confused on using these digital currencies in the country.

The virtual currency, which came into existence nine years ago in the year 2008, is still in its nascent stage in the South Asian country. Though not yet recognised by the country’s government, the bitcoin industry in India is still seeing an increasing growth in number of bitcoin players as well as users. According to reports, there are over a million users of the cryptocurrency in the country make it the 4th highest in the entire world.

The government’s main aim behind contemplating regulations for Bitcoins is to keep a close watch on their usage for illegal activities such as money laundering, drug trafficking and terror funding etc.

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