Cryptocurrency ban: Opinions from Industry Experts, BAAC, Cryptocurrency Exchanges, RBI, Raghuram Rajan

Know the opinion of various stakeholders such as BACC, crypto exchanges, RBI, the general public, etc., on their expectations from the Cryptocurrency Bill.

Expert opinion on Cryptocurrency: Will it be banned completely or emerge as a new asset class?

The listing of the Cryptocurrency Bill in the winter session of Parliament has sparked off a huge debate on the future of cryptocurrencies in India. Everybody is speculating whether it will be a complete ban, how much time the Government will give existing investors to exit, whether the Government will regulate it, etc. In this article, we will discuss the opinions of various stakeholders on what is expected to emerge from the Cryptocurrency Bill.

1) Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC)

The BACC issued a statement saying it supported the use of cryptocurrencies only as an asset. It said a blanket ban would adversely impact retail investors. A ban will encourage non-state actors leading to illegal usage of cryptos. The Council’s statement said: “The Council believes that a smartly regulated crypto assets business will protect investors, help monitor Indian buyers and sellers, lead to better taxation of the industry, and limit illegal usage of cryptos.”

Related: 6% Investing In Crypto, 40% In Gold - Insights On How Indian Women Are Investing In 2021

2) Crypto exchanges

The various crypto trading platforms operating in India, such as WazirX, CoinDCX, Zebpay, etc., favour regulation rather than an outright ban. WazirX's CEO Nischal Shetty, in an interview, said: "All of us want regulations. We've been pushing for it for the last 1,000+ days. Finally, when the regulation process has begun, why panic? We need to have faith in our lawmakers. There'll be discussions and deliberations. Ultimately, innovation will win."

3) Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

The RBI is not comfortable with cryptocurrencies. In 2018, it issued a ban on cryptocurrencies. The ban was challenged in the Supreme Court, and it was struck down in early 2021. Since then, many Indians have jumped into cryptocurrencies. The RBI perceives cryptos pose a threat to India’s economic and financial stability.

In November 2021, while speaking at the Sydney Dialogue, the Honourable Prime Minister Modi said: “It is important that all democratic nations work together on cryptocurrency and ensure it does not end up in the wrong hands, which can spoil our youth."

Related: Cryptocurrency Boom Or Bust: What The New Bill Will Mean For Indian Investors?

4) General public opinion

The general public opinion is divided on cryptocurrencies. Some individuals are in favour of legalising cryptos to be used as legal tender. A majority of them are in favour of classifying them as digital assets and taxing them.

LocalCircles did a study among the general public by sending them a questionnaire. To a question on how India should handle cryptocurrencies from a regulatory standpoint, 8,717 responses were received as follows:

a) 26% of people said India should legalise cryptocurrencies and tax them in India.
b) 54% of people said India should not legalise cryptocurrencies but tax them like a digital asset held in a foreign country.
c) The remaining 20% of people did not have an opinion on it.


5) Raghuram Rajan (former RBI Governer)

When asked for his opinion on cryptocurrencies, Raghuram Rajan, the former RBI Governor, said that cryptos might pose the same problem as unregulated chit funds, which take money from people and go bust.

He believes only a handful out of the 6,000-odd cryptocurrencies in existence today may survive going forward.


Related: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin: Everything You Need To Know For Successful Trading In Cryptocurrency

What’s in store for cryptocurrencies in the future?

While the Government is set to table and discuss the Cryptocurrency Bill in the winter session of Parliament, various stakeholders have expressed their opinion and expectations. For now, all eyes are set on the Government’s move. Will they ban cryptos? Will they categorise them as an asset class and tax them? Will they take any other approach? Well, only time will tell what will be the way forward for cryptocurrencies in India.


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