Money & Banking

Most cryptocurrency firms say no plan B as of now

Surabhi | | | Updated on: Nov 27, 2021
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The Cryptocurrency Bill seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India

 Cryptocurrency companies in India are closely following developments around the proposed legislation on cyptocurrency but at present, most of them don’t have a plan B in case of a complete ban on trading.

“As an industry, we are in sync with the fact that INR is the only legal tender in India and crypto is an asset or utility which people buy and sell.

“If tabled in the Parliament, there will be discussions and deliberations around this bill. The process of crypto regulation is in the works, and we need to have faith in our lawmakers,” said Nischal Shetty, Founder, WazirX.

Regulation over prohibition

Gaurav Dahake, CEO and Co- founder, Bitbns, also expressed confidence that the government will embrace regulations instead of prohibitions.

“We are not putting in any efforts for any kind of alternate plans as we believe that all these speculations are initial hiccups before the whole cryptocurrency ecosystem gets regulated. Well-appraised regulations and a more defined framework will work better in favour of the economy than a ban,” he said.

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Experts said most cryptocurrency companies are incorporated overseas and will be able to continue operations abroad. However, a ban would lead to immediate losses and at least some would have to transfer operations abroad.

“Businesses in and around crypto assets may transfer their operations offshore but an immediate ban would definitely lead to some losses,” said Rashmi Deshpande, Partner, Khaitan & Co.

Blockchain: Part of Web 3.0

Many cryptocurrency companies also work on blockchain technology apart from trading.

“CrossTower is more than just a crypto platform. Crypto is a part of blockchain and blockchain is part of Web 3.0. We are focused on blockchain technology and innovation around Web 3.0, the next revolution in internet technology,” said Vikas Ahuja, CEO of CrossTower India.

Based in the US, CrossTower has users in the US, India, and other over 70 countries.

“When the Indian government is talking about banning certain cryptocurrencies, that doesn't necessarily mean they're banning this giant game of blockchain or interrupting the next level of innovation on digitising the trading world for the country.

“We believe they are trying to make it safe for consumers by providing safeguards, which is the best thing for crypto trading in India to grow smartly,” Ahuja said.

RBI’s digital currency

According to industry sources, many of these cryptocurrency companies had moved overseas after the 2018 restriction by the Reserve Bank of India.

The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, has been listed as part of the Government Legislative and Financial Business that will be taken up at the Winter Session of Parliament.

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The Bill seeks to create a facilitative framework for 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.

Published on November 28, 2021

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