The central government of India is in internal discussions to ban cryptocurrencies in the country. The Modi government has kicked off a series of inter-ministerial talks in efforts to draft a bill which will ban cryptocurrencies and regulate official digital currencies.
The bill, titled ‘Banning of Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies Bill 2019’, has been drafted and circulated internally in relevant government departments, as reported by Economic Times. Last year, the government had formed a panel under Subhash Chandra Garg, finance secretary, to draft regulations to ban usage of cryptocurrencies.
Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and the Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA), are some of the government authorities that have voiced banning cryptocurrencies in the past.
According to the minutes of a meeting reviewed by ET, it said, “There is an urgent need to ban sale purchase and issuance of cryptocurrency.” The committee which was formed last year also observed that since cryptocurrency could be used for money laundering, a ban could also be achieved under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The purchase and issuance of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, CashCoin, etc. are being done by people and companies who have falsely promised massive returns on their investments, according to the ministry of corporate affairs. The authority also pointed out that many of these are ponzi schemes and were in some cases used to ‘defraud gullible investors.’
It seems like the peak of cryptocurrencies has passed. They are falling rapidly. Bitcoin was initially introduced by a group/single person only known to the world as Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto envisioned a completely peer-to-peer monetary system which would dodge the existing power structures of the world. Though the advent cryptocurrencies didn’t make any radical difference in the world, it remains to be seen whether it will ever live up to its creator’s dream.
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