India’s governmental committee: cryptocurrencies should be legalized
After a wave of contradictory statements, the Indian government seems to reach an agreement in that cryptocurrencies “should be fully legalized,” according to the local English-language media outlet The New Indian Express. The outlet cites an unnamed senior official who attended the panel’s meetings.
Notably, earlier in December the Indian government panel suggested a complete ban on cryptocurrencies in the country, going as far as to state that “any kind of dealing in such currencies should be illegal.”
However, the country’s business community didn’t meet the proposal favorably, so the government panel has set up the second inter-ministerial committee. Subhash Chandra Garg, secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, is leading the effort. Other committee members include representatives from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Reserve Bank of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India, as well as India’s Department of Revenue.
The committee already had two meetings, with the third one scheduled to take place in January. It is anticipated that there will be an official statement from the Indian government on their stance on cryptocurrencies, as well as a draft of the proposed legislation.
Earlier in October, the developers of India’s first Bitcoin (BTC) ATM have been arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery. According to the official statement from India’s Central Crime Branch, this ATM has not been approved by the government and therefore should have never been called an ATM. Ironically, if a “kiosk” had been written there instead of an “ATM,” the founders would avoid the criminal prosecution. According to India’s leading lawyer specializing in cyber space, Prashant Mali, in that case the installation would have fallen into a grey area of the law.