STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Soon, holding cryptocurrencies could land you behind bars

An inter-ministerial panel has recommended that all privately circulated cryptocurrencies be banned.

Published: 23rd July 2019 07:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd July 2019 07:43 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: AN inter-ministerial panel has recommended that all privately circulated cryptocurrencies be banned. It has also suggested heavy fines as well as jail terms up to 10 years for those dealing in unauthorised digital currencies. 

“The committee notes with concern the mushrooming of cryptocurrencies almost invariably issued abroad and numerous people in India investing in these cryptocurrencies,” it said in a report submitted along with a draft bill to regulate them. 

The draft will be examined by the ministries and regulators concerned before a final set of recommendations will be placed before the Union Cabinet.

The report suggests that the Department of Economic Affairs could set up a group along with RBI representatives and officials from other departments to look into an “appropriate model of digital currency in India”.

According to the panel, headed by finance secretary S C Garg, an ‘official’ digital currency could be launched by the RBI.

It suggests the government use distributed-ledger technology for loan-issuance tracking, collateral management, fraud detection and claims management in insurance, among others.
Cryptrocurrency players are worried. “What will happen to those who hold these currencies?” asked Ashish Singhal, founder and CEO, CoinSwitch. He explained that DLT / blockchain tokens have many uses, other than for cryptocurrency. “If two users use such tokens to transact, will it be called a cryptocurrency?” he asked. 

EY India’s Prashant Garg, however, sees the move as positive. “Digital twin currency backed by government regulated and stable fiat money would promote large adoption and facilitate trusted digital money exchange.”

The rationale
■  Private cryptocurrencies carry huge risks due to their volatile prices
■  These are unregulated and hence, consumers have nobody to turn to in case they are short-changed
■  An ‘official’ currency could address these issues to a large extent

2,116 crypto-currencies are in circulation, having a market cap of $119.46 billion, says the report

Stay up to date on all the latest Business news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp