India is reportedly gearing up to introduce a bill that will criminalize the trading, holding, and mining of cryptocurrencies.
Reuters cites a senior government official familiar with the matter who says the proposal seeks to fine anyone issuing, holding, trading, and transferring crypto assets.
The bill would give owners of cryptocurrencies half a year to sell their digital asset holdings. After the grace period, crypto holders would face penalties.
According to Reuters, government officials are optimistic that the bill will be passed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s allies control the parliament.
The report adds that the bill would only ban the private use of digital assets while harnessing the blockchain, the technology powering cryptocurrencies, would still be legal. The source also said that the government will take a “calibrated” approach in penalizing those who fail to liquidate their crypto assets within the six-month period.
The latest from India appears to be contradicting the statements of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who said earlier this month that the country intends to create a regulatory landscape where the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies can be tested. She also noted that India is even looking to create a window that would allow crypto experiments.
If the bill is approved, India will become the only Asian giant that prohibits private cryptocurrencies instead of regulating the industry.
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