23 Jul 2019
An Indian government panel has recommended banning all private cryptocurrencies and a jail term of up to 10 years and heavy fines for anyone dealing in digital currencies, which could signal the end of them in India.
The panel drew up a report and draft legislation, which will be examined by the government and regulators before they make a final decision, the government said in a statement on Monday.
The panel has, however, asked the government to consider the launch of an official government-backed digital currency in India, to function like bank notes, through the Reserve Bank of India.
Authorities in various countries are considering how to regulate cryptocurrencies, particularly after Facebook announced plans to launch one called Libra, because of risks to the financial system and consumer data.
The Indian government has issued repeated warnings against investing in digital currencies, saying these were like “Ponzi schemes” that offer unusually high returns to early investors.
The government panel, headed by finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, recommended a fine of up to 250 million rupees ($3.63 million) and imprisonment for up to 10 years for anyone who mines, generates, holds, sells, transfers or issues cryptocurrency.
“There is no underlying intrinsic value of these private cryptocurrencies,” the panel said in its report submitted to the finance ministry.
By Manoj Kumar and Aftab Ahmed, Reuters, 22 July 2019
Read more at Reuters
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