India: Report on draconian draft bill for cryptocurrencies met with skepticism by crypto-community

Cryptocurrency users in India may be in for a rude shock again. Following rumours of a cryptocurrency ban circulating a few weeks ago, India may be contemplating a jail sentence of between one to ten years, for all investors in cryptocurrency, who are either holding, transacting or mining it. The development is said to be part of the draft ‘Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulations of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2019,’ reported Bloomberg Quint.

Further, any offense associated with such acts will be cognizable and non-bailable . However, such a penalty will be imposed depending on the gravity and extent of the offense and the offender’s actual or intended gain.

The draft bill also introduces a time period of 90 days following the act’s commencement, for the disposal of all cryptocurrencies by crypto-holders. According to Bloomberg Quint, the act also envisions the appointment of a regulator.

One of the most striking features of this draft bill is the prospective introduction of a new government-backed digital Rupee, in consultation with the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India.

Reactions online have ranged from the furious to the skeptical, after the report first broke out. While many have denounced the government and the possible introduction and implementation of such an Act, some have questioned the veracity of the Bloomberg report.

@DesiCryptoHodlr, one of India’s foremost crypto-proponents, had this to say about the report,

“Seems like yet another desperate attempt by Bloomberg to get some more views. Let’s not believe in anonymous news like this and wait for official notice from the authorities.”

There is good reason to share her skepticism since just a few days ago, the RBI’s response to a Right to Information request revealed that it had no knowledge and no involvement in any truck to pursue the ban on cryptocurrencies in the country.

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