The Indian government is set to draft final regulations for cryptocurrencies to be announced sometime next month (December). A designated panel had been set up by the finance ministry a year ago now to work towards creating a baseline for distributed ledger technology in India. The regulations will outline how digital assets can be used in place of fiat currency.
Indian exchanges like Zebpay, who closed their doors and relocated due to government bans, have long accused government policies (or lack thereof) of thwarting what could be a booming industry. The Reserve Bank of India encouraged banks to shun cryptocurrency exchanges this past spring and local bitcoin exchanges saw their business tank as a result. Zebpay, the largest Indian exchange, even moved to Malta, now affectionately known as “Blockchain Island” to escape crypto persecution.
Subhash Chandra Garg, secretary in the department of economic affairs, has announced that whatever is drafted in December is projected to be fully enforced by March 2019.
The government’s counter-affidavit to the Supreme Court case brought to a hearing in a pushback from local exchanges reads:
“[S]erious efforts are going on for preparation of the draft report and the draft bill on virtual currencies, use of distributed ledger technology in (the) financial system and framework for digital currency in India.”
It is important to keep in mind that deadlines haven’t meant much to the Indian Supreme Court or government bodies in the past. This past October the government set a two-week deadline for India to officially define its regulations for digital assets. This has clearly been put off and the upcoming plans for deliberation might not have the immediate resolve India’s crypto community has hoped for.
In the interim, the Supreme Court will continue hearings for the case filed by cryptocurrencies that are related to the current ban. It is very possible that the outcome and rulings on this case will be reflected in the draft alleged to be released this December.