Fear of Bitcoin Ban Over? India’s Finance Minister Softens Stance on Crypto

Published by andrewpbreen@gmail.com on

India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says that the nation intends to provide a regulatory landscape in which crypto technology can be tested, quelling fears of a full-on crypto ban in the country.

In an interview on CNBC-TV18, Sitharaman assuages some concerns that India may be attempting to outlaw cryptocurrencies.

Sitharaman tells CNBC that the Indian government may even be planning for a period of experimentation with cryptocurrencies.

“Well, I’m not sure [about] much before the cabinet takes a call on it, I don’t want to give you any clues about what is in [the discussions]. Obviously, the Reserve Bank will be taking a call on how and what kind of an official cryptocurrency will have to be planned and how it has to be regulated. But also, we want to make sure that there is a window available for all kinds of experiments which will have to take place in the crypto world, and therefore it is not as if we are going look inwards and say, ‘No we are not going to have any of this.’”

In early February, CNBC-TV18 reported that the Indian government was potentially trying to fast-track a bill that would ban the private use of cryptocurrency, only providing exemptions for projects that promoted the underlying technology behind crypto and its use-cases.

Sitharaman’s latest interview, however, indicates that the government intends to take a more neutral stance on the crypto sector.

“There will be a very calibrated position taken. A lot of mixed messages are coming from across the world. I don’t think there is either a complete, ‘Go this way’ or a complete, ‘Go that way’ in this matter. We will have to take a very calibrated position. The world is moving fast with technology and we can’t pretend that we don’t want it…

We are not closing our minds. We are certainly looking at ways in which experimentation can happen in the digital world and cryptocurrency.”

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