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Tech organization Nasscom opposes Indian crypto ban, ‘Not Helpful’

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Wed, 31 Jul 2019, 05:01 am UTC

It is no secret that India has not been the most enthusiastic country when it comes to cryptocurrency as far as its government is concerned and is even considering banning it. This is where the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) is stepping in to call officials out on such a drastic move.

In a statement intended to curb the rising sentiment of outright criminalizing cryptocurrency in India, Nasscom expressed its alarm at the close-minded approach by the country’s leaders. The group is adamantly pushing that a ban is not the answer.

"Instead, the government should work towards developing a risk-based framework to regulate and monitor cryptocurrencies and tokens. A ban would inhibit new applications and solutions from being deployed and would discourage tech startups. It would handicap India from participating in new use cases that cryptocurrencies and tokens offer," Nasscom’s statement reads.

"To address consumer protection concerns, cryptocurrency-based businesses can be tested in the regulatory sandboxes being launched by the financial sector regulators across the country. We should work towards creating a regulatory framework that will constantly monitor and prevent illegal activities. Regulating would allow the law enforcement agencies to be better equipped to understand these new technologies, enable them to gather intelligence on criminal developments and take enforcement actions," it added.

On July 22, the Indian Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) officially announced that it has received the report on cryptocurrency regulation along with a draft bill from the committee. The bill aims to illegalize mining, generating, holding, selling, dealing, issuing, transferring, disposing, and using cryptocurrency. People found to be engaging in such activities are subject to a fine of up to 250 million rupees ($3.63 million) and/or imprisonment of up to 10 years.

The Indian government is yet to make its final decision, and it confirmed there is no official ban in place just yet. The report and draft bill are now being examined in consultation with all concerned departments and regulatory authorities before making a final decision.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of India has been postponing the hearing of the ongoing crypto case which followed the crypto banking ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last year.

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