The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, also known as the Crypto Bill, is now ready to be presented in the Monsoon session of the Indian Parliament that begins on July 19, 2021.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier this week said the views and feedback of all stakeholders have been ascertained. Earlier, the Crypto bill was expected to be taken up during the Budget session but could not be as the session was curtailed due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021?
•The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, also known as the Crypto Bill, was a new bill on cryptocurrencies that suggested a ban on private cryptocurrencies in India and facilitate the creation of an official digital currency.
•The bill was to be taken up in the Budget session of the Indian Parliament.
Purposes of Cryptocurrency Bill, 2021
•As per the bulletin relating to Parliamentary affairs issued by the Lok Sabha, the key purposes of the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 are:
(i) to create a facilitative framework for the creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India.
(ii) to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India,
(iii) allow for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.
Indian government stance on cryptocurrencies
•The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on May 31, 2021, had announced that banks to allow cryptocurrency trades with routine due diligence measures on the same. The central bank had also nulled the circular issued in 2018 that asked banks to not facilitate cryptocurrencies exchanges.
•However, the Indian government is yet to clarify its stance on cryptocurrencies. Sitharaman in Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Indian government is looking at a ‘calibrated’ approach towards cryptocurrencies in India.
Cryptocurrencies market in India
•As per the blockchain data company Chainalysis, India has witnessed a 600 per cent jump in total investment in cryptocurrencies from $923 million in April 2020 to $6.6 billion in May 2021.
•The company in June 2021 stated that India ranks 18th with total Bitcoin investment gains at $241 million.