The situation is heating up in India, with national parties and leaders putting a glaring spotlight on Bitcoin.
Is this crypto politics?
After Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi accused the ruling party of covering up a big “Bitcoin Scam” on Saturday, the accused fired back. However, this tweet from Gandhi did what years of discussions between the Finance Ministry, Reserve Bank of India, a special committee, and the crypto-industry couldn’t. It finally, belatedly, brought Prime Minister Modi to the table.
According to reports, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi chaired a crucial discussion on the way forward for crypto. The meeting was the result of a consultative process after the RBI, the Finance Ministry, and the Home Ministry finished their own consultation with experts from across the country.
To shed more light on the state of crypto in India, the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC) announced the appointment of Ashish Singhal, Founder and CEO of CoinSwitch Kuber and Sumit Gupta, Co-Founder and CEO of CoinDCX, as its Co-chairs. As an extension of the Internet and Mobile Association [IAMAI], it is rallying for crypto-education and adoption within India.
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance is going to meet several crypto-participants on Monday. Previously, it was reported that the government may not keep to its hardline approach and soften its stance on crypto. In fact, the government may soon seek a “middle path.”
A source noted,
“A middle path that balances the concerns of all stakeholders is more likely.”
While the central bank has remained opposed to the idea of crypto, the idea to completely ban it is futile. During the discussion with the PM, ministers brought up the age-old concerns of money laundering and terrorist financing. However, what the experienced don’t understand is even if India bans crypto out of fear, those involved in illicit activities will continue to use it.
There is a very legitimate concern that a longer consultation process may contribute to unnecessary delay. Nevertheless, this discussion has brought crypto to the limelight once again, with the same promising a forward-looking outlook. It suggests the issue is a global one, one that cuts across individual countries’ borders. This is the reason why “global partnerships and collective strategies” are required.
Sources within the government believe a “balanced” approach would have to be followed to cater to crypto-investors and businesses. Meanwhile, calling crypto a boogeyman will only scare away legitimate investors, not scamsters. The need for the government is to support and secure this growing number of legitimate investors while using the tech to fight prevalent crimes.