India to legalize cryptocurrencies and have them regulated

  • Authorities do not want to ban digital assets.
  • The relevant committee will provide a comprehensive report by February 2019.

India's government is about to legalize cryptocurrency industry and introduce a tight regulation for digital assets. The authorities want this "Wild West" market to play by strict rules, New Indian Express reports. An interdisciplinary committee created by the government to investigate the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry opposes an outright ban, an anonymous senior official told the newspaper.

“We have already had two meetings. There is a general consensus that cryptocurrency cannot be dismissed as completely illegal. It needs to be legalized with strong riders. Deliberations are on.”

The committee was set up by the government in April 2017. It includes representatives from various government departments as well as the central bank and other relevant agencies. Previously, the committee members proposed to develop a legal basis to ban private currencies circulation on the territory of the country, thus the latest developments indicate a softening of stance towards digital assets in India.

In April, the Reserve Bank of India forbade the local banks to provide services to the companies engaged in cryptocurrency industry. Seeking ways to survive, the Indian cryptocurrency exchanges filed a petition to the country’s supreme court, which, in its turn, ordered the government to provide guidance by the end of the year.

The Committee will submit a comprehensive report on the industry to the Ministry of Finance by February 2019.

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