It is official: India has not banned cryptocurrencies, and their regulation is proceeding very slowly.
The situation regarding the regulation on the use of cryptocurrencies in India is indeed very confusing.
After having “confirmed” the ban some time ago, now it turns out that this ban has never really been there.
This was discovered by a document describing the session held on July 16th at Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Indian Parliament, during which the Minister of Finance was asked questions about the alleged ban on cryptocurrencies in India.
MP Shri Dharmapuri Srinivas asked the minister if the government had banned cryptocurrencies in the country, and if he had taken action against those responsible for dealing with cryptocurrencies on the market.
The first question was explicitly answered by the Minister of Finance:
To the second question he answered:
“Presently, there is no separate law for dealing with issues relating to cryptocurrencies. Hence, all concerned Departments and law enforcement agencies, such as RBI, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax authorities, etc. take action as per the relevant existing laws. Similarly, police/courts take action on IPC offences. Further, in view of the risks and dangers associated with cryptocurrencies, Government and RBI have been issuing advisories, press releases and circulars to the public”.
To another question about the fact that the government had taken note of the prevalence of cryptocurrencies in the country he replied:
“Taking note of the issue, the Government has constituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) under the Chairmanship of Secretary (EA). The IMC has submitted the Report to the Government”.
In other words, there is currently no cryptocurrency ban in India, and the measures undertaken so far by the government are extremely limited.
Rumours are circulating suggesting that the Indian government is preparing new regulations for cryptocurrencies, which could include a real official ban. However, given the confusion surrounding the issue, these rumours are of no real value.
This does not mean that they cannot correspond to realities, but only that there is no certainty about them.
In fact, according to some experts who have analysed the content of the proposed law to regulate cryptocurrencies in India, this is still an open case. There would still be many obscure points that would suggest a long and complex process.