A new bill is being drafted by the government of India that could leave people who deal with cryptocurrency in jail for 10 years.
The draft, titled “Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019” was first reported by the Economic Times in April. Later, a Bloomberg Quint report (paywall) last week hinted at a proposed prison sentence.
Bitcoin is the most popular cyrpto coin and if we talk about the numbers there are around 3 million bitcoins in circulation across the nation.
As you might know, the Reserve Bank of India has already banned any form of cryptocurrency for the financial institutions which it governs.
However, in this case, an RTI was filed by a lawyer named Varun Sethi. RBI responded that it isn’t aware of any such development or the proposed ban.
Also, there could be a little confusion building around the bill. According to Vishal Gupta, who is the CEO of crypto startup SearchTrade, the bill is “too premature” right now to come up with any conclusion. It flags illegal cryptocurrency dealings as illegal, which basically means calling a person who commits a crime a criminal.
It is being said the banning of the cryptocurrency could have negative consequences as people might prefer doing the transactions underground. It’s already very hard to track such transactions anyway. Also, many people who deal with huge amount of crypto coins keep their transactions outside of the country where it’s managed by their friends.
The title of the proposed draft also suggests that a government regulated cryptocurrency could come into existence. In the past, we have heard names like ‘Lakshmi coin‘ which the government could launch in the coming future. If that does come to fruition than this proposed is probably a means to eliminate the crypto coins that the government can’t regulate.