India is Considering a Ban on the ‘Use’ of Cryptocurrencies

After months of public uncertainty bought on by years of deliberation by the Indian government, authorities have discussed the framework to legally ban the usage of ‘private’ cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

In the 19th meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) headed by India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday, the subject of cryptocurrencies took the floor.

According to a release by the Indian Government’s Ministry of Finance through the Press Information Bureau, the working group “deliberated on the issues and challenges” of cryptocurrencies in the country.

Pointedly, an inter-governmental committee tasked to study and propose a legal framework for cryptocurrencies has, instead, suggested a ban on using cryptocurrencies in India.

The full excerpt from the press release reads:

“The Council also deliberated on the issues and challenges of Crypto Assets/Currency and was briefed about the deliberations in the High-level Committee chaired by the Secretary (Economic Affairs) to devise an appropriate legal framework to ban use of private crypto currencies in India and encouraging the use of Distributed Ledger Technology, as announced in the Budget 2018-19.”

It’s crucial to note the phrasing used in the public release here.

Enforcing a legal framework to ban the “use” of cryptocurrencies could extend to trading and its application as a payment instrument but not necessarily owning cryptocurrencies.

As domestic industry source CryptoKanoon, which has been following the entire saga, reports:

Mr. Garg briefed FSDC Council on:

"..deliberations in the High-level Committee to devise an appropriate legal framework to ban use ofprivate crypto currenciesin India"

Does the abovesaid indicate that the possession and trading of Crypto are going to be permitted?#BPositive pic.twitter.com/RvfX0FhYOM

— Crypto Kanoon (@cryptokanoon) October 31, 2018

The domestic cryptocurrency trading has already been largely nullified as a result of the banking ban enforced by the central bank in April, leading to the shuttering of at least one major Indian exchange recently.

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