India’s cryptocurrency ban will take a new calibrated position, said the country’s Finance Minister.
Reuters reported, citing a “senior government official with direct knowledge of the plan,” that India is planning to propose a cryptocurrency blanket ban that prohibits trading, holding, and mining digital assets.
The report comes in the wake of hopeful comments made by India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at an India Today private meeting.
Words of hope
She said the government is not closing down all options and will allow experiments to be done.
“From our side, we are very clear that we are not shutting all options,” said Sitharaman. “We will allow certain windows for people to do experiments on blockchain, bitcoins, or cryptocurrency.”
“We will allow a certain amount of a window for people to use so that experiments in blockchain, bitcoin or whatever you may want to call it the cryptocurrency experiments, and fintech which depend on such experiments will have that window available for them,” she elaborated on the experiments.
“We are not going to shut it off all.”
Per the Reuters report, the government official spoke positively about blockchain technology, saying that “we don’t have a problem with [blockchain] technology. There is no harm in harnessing the technology.”
Despite the positive comments from the Finance Minister, a cryptocurrency ban is still looming in India.
The Reuters report said that cryptocurrency holders will be given six months to liquidate their investments or face penalties.
Previous reports noted that investors would be given three to six months to exit their crypto positions.
Cryptonary reported in January that India’s government was planning to ban all “private” cryptocurrencies and introduce a national digital currency.
If the proposed ban is passed into law, it will force Indian crypto businesses to shut down or move their operations overseas.
However, the looming ban has done little to discourage traders from engaging in cryptocurrency transactions.
Swelling trading volumes
Trading volumes are surging as the cryptocurrency market enjoys a bull cycle. Industry estimates suggest that 8 million investors hold 100 billion rupees ($1.4 billion) in cryptocurrencies.
Unocoin, one of India’s oldest cryptocurrency exchanges signed up 200,000 users in the first two months of the year despite the potential cryptocurrency ban.