Is Cryptocurrency Legal in India? Crypto Bill, Private Cryptos, all Questions Answered

With more and more people investing in popular Bitcoin and relatively lesser know Shiba Inu, all thanks to Elon Musk probably, cryptocurrency craze has indeed gripped India. More than 2 crore people own cryptocurrencies in Inda, according to the popular crypto exchange platform WazirX. While new age investors, especially millennials, taking to crypto with such gusto, the million dollar question is right now — is cryptocurrency legal in India?

At present, there is no law that covers cryptocurrecies in India. However, that does not make cryptocurrency illegal in the country. It simply indicates that there is no regulatory framework to safeguard crypto owners in the country. To mend this lack of regulatory framework in the crypto world, the central government is all set to table The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill in the Parliament during winter session.

What we know about the Cryptocurrency Bill so far?

The new bill will aim at prohibiting private cryptocurrencies while providing a framework for the creation of an official digital currency by the Reserve Bank of India. “The bill also seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India. However, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses,” the bulletin said. It also sought “to create a facilitative framework for creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India.”

Cryptocurrency as an Asset?

Crypto experts are hopeful that the government will not opt for a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies in India. The Centre may recognise it as an asset, like real estate, stocks or gold. Then the government will levy capital gains tax on any profits made after selling cryptocurrencies.

On Private Cryptocurrecies: 

On private cryptocurrencies, Hitesh Malviya, founder, itsblockchain.com, India’s first and oldest Blockchain Cryptocurrency Publication, “We have a lot of unclarities in regards to the definition of private cryptocurrencies that are creating chaos amping retail investors right now. It’s difficult to herd behavior, they are panic selling without even knowing about the definition.”

Cryptocurrency as a Legal Tender:

The central government will not allow cryptocurrency as a legal tender in India. This means that you can not go to a restuarant, have a meal and pay in cryptocurrency. Similarly, you can not go to a bank and ask for your cryptocurrency to be be converted into rupees. Only a few countries including El Salvador has accepted cryptocurrency as a legal tender so far.

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