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Cryptocurrency regulation: Govt unlikely to table Bill in Winter Session?

The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, was scheduled for debate and passage during the Parliament's Budget session earlier this year.

Cryptocurrency regulation Govt unlikely to table Bill in Winter Session gcw
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New Delhi, First Published Dec 15, 2021, 3:27 PM IST
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The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, which the government identified as one of the agenda items for the Parliament's Winter Session, may not be introduced in the current session, providing some relief to crypto trading platforms and investors. According to the reports, the administration is considering adjustments to the basis of the proposed law, which means it may not be submitted during the Winter Session. Some of the concerns raised by the law require greater public debate and feedback. These include incorporating the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) into the present framework or the RBI Act. According to reports, the Centre wants India's crypto rules to be consistent with the global framework.

According to the report, which cited an anonymous government official, the administration thought that any law governing cryptocurrencies needed to be in tune with a global framework still emerging following discussions at the highest levels. The source went on to say that it could be preferable to wait and see how the situation develops worldwide.

At the Democracy Summit sponsored by US President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged coordinated efforts to establish social media standards and cryptocurrencies to ensure they are used to "empower democracy rather than harm it." 

The official went on to say that any possible cryptocurrency structure should be developed after engaging with all stakeholders, even though there is a developing worldwide agreement on the subject.

Also Read | Cryptocurrency bill banning crypto payments can send you to jail: Report

The administration is also debating whether the draught framework of the crypto law should take precedence over the CBDC. The new digital money may also be managed under the RBI Act, according to the government. The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, was scheduled for debate and passage during the Parliament's Budget session earlier this year. Still, the administration chose to revise it before putting it on hold.

The Bill aims to reduce financial stability risk by appropriately separating the official banking system from digital assets. It also recommended punishment for infractions committed by both people and business entities. Offences against the law will not be bailable and might result in a one and a half year prison sentence and a fine of up to Rs 50 crore. The Bill also recommends banning all private cryptocurrencies in India and making regulation easier.

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