The Enigma: Cryptocurrency’s future in India
The World’s largest Cryptocurrency Bitcoin’s meteoric rise is attracting investments from big and small investors alike. Recently Elon Musk’s car company Tesla invested $1.5 Million in Bitcoin’s leading the price of bitcoin to cross $ 50,000. The company also said it would start accepting bitcoin as a payment method for its products surging the stock price even further.
However, in India, the future of Cryptocurrency is uncertain as we are still waiting for the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of the Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021. There are rumours that the government is planning to ban all private virtual currencies and if this is true then Indians will soon be banned from investing in crypto assets or building and backing companies that are innovating using blockchain technology.
According to the Lok Sabha bulletin, the bill aims to “create a facilitative framework for the creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India. The Bill also seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses”
Cryptocurrency entrepreneurs in India have created an industrial association ABCE (Association for Blockchain &, Crypto and Digital asset Entrepreneurs) that aims to lobby for Cryptocurrency with the Indian government.
In 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had banned cryptocurrency transactions in India and alerted all banks to stop dealing with private cryptocurrency as there were no regulations in place. This ban was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2020.
RBI recently announced its intent to explore its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) although it continues to be apprehensive about the associated risks around cryptocurrency.
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India has a great potential for Cryptocurrency. It is the world’s biggest recipient of money transfers, with billions of dollars coming in annually and it is expected to rise with increasing remote work and remittances going forward. A significant amount of money is lost in the transfer and currency conversion fee. Cryptocurrencies, however, save money and substantial time for both the remitter and the receiver, as it is completely digital, required nominal transaction fees and is almost instantaneous.
With supporters of crypto currency such as Elon Musk, the price of these digital coins has been rallying and hitting all-time highs making investors happier and proving the naysayers wrong. Even though the risk in such kind of investments is much higher when compared to conventional and traditional stocks.
However, India is lagging far behind in crypto regulations compared to many countries and it needs to move in pace with the innovation that is happening globally if we want to be a part of the advancements and growth that are taking place.
Even with the constant changes in the law regarding digital currency, its popularity has not yet deterred, in fact quite the opposite has happened. We hope that there is soon some clarity on the laws by the Government of India and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) so that Indians can cleanly and without fear trade.