Holding cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is banned in India, but that could change, as the second interdisciplinary committee is in favor of legalizing it, according to a New Indian Express article published Wednesday.
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“We have already had two meetings,” an anonymous senior official attending the committee meetings told the New Indian Express.
“There is a general consensus that cryptocurrency cannot be dismissed as completely illegal. It needs to be legalized with strong riders. Deliberations are on.”
The committee has met twice on the issue and is likely to submit its report to the finance ministry by February.
The government set up the first interdisciplinary committee, led by special secretary Dinesh Sharma, with members from the Central Board of Direct Taxes, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the National Institution for Transforming India, and the State Bank of India in March 2017.
In July 2017, the committee recommended a total ban on cryptocurrency in India with immediate effect.
However, various stakeholders challenged the RBI fiat in the Supreme Court.
After conflicting opinions, the government set up the second inter-ministerial committee, led by the Department of Economic Affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg.
Recently, G20 countries agreed to introduce regulations on crypto assets to counter money laundering and financial terrorism.
Some of the second interdisciplinary committee members have already actively participated in G20 and FATF working group meetings, including RBI executive director Ganesh Kumar, and Finance Ministry officials.
“We have also taken inputs from cryptocurrency exchanges and experts and will be examining legal issues with the law ministry,” the official added.
“It’s a complicated issue. Once all aspects are decided, then we will have more clarity.”