Recently, the Ministry of Finance as per Lok Sabha Bulletin Part II, The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital currency Bill, 2021, has indicated that the Government of India is planning to introduce a ban on trading and investment in private cryptocurrencies and allow the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to develop and run its own digital currency, referred to as Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). This has triggered many conversations within media and the crypto market at large about the misconception of how the government defines cryptocurrencies (as private or public). Globally, top cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other blockchain-based decentralised assets’ are not viewed as private in nature, but rather more as Decentralized public assets, traded on public exchanges. The industry believes that banning is not the solution. Most of the developed economies are working towards regulating it so that innovation around this new technology brings maximum fruits to their economies. Indian entrepreneurs should also be allowed to build companies of the future. The digital asset ecosystem is going to complement the economy and not displace it if properly regulated.
“This is an opportunity for the Indian entrepreneurs to create global startups early on. The proposed ban may destroy these young startups giving employment to thousands. To engage in a dialogue with the Government, entrepreneurs have joined hands together to form ABCE- Association of Blockchain & Crypto Entrepreneurs,” said Sidharth Sogani, CEO of CREBACO Global. After success in South East Asia, (Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia) with the association of BlockOn Ventures, CREBACO has now emerged as an Indian leader in providing deep research and consulting and has proposed to Indian Government a comprehensive regulatory framework. The framework suggests definitions, current legal status, global status, India’s own blockchain to actually run a CBDC. The framework also suggests methods to regulate the industry in a systematic manner keeping in mind the Indian ecosystem.
CREBACO worked with the law firm Khaitan & Co on this. “We were working on proposed regulations for almost a year,” added Sogani in the conversation. The report was submitted to all the ministries including the Ministry of Finance, Meity, PMO, NITI Aayog, Standing Committee, Cabinet Secretaries, SEBI, RBI, etc, “We made sure the framework reaches the right people and was sent by courier and email to all the Members of Parliament,” said Sidharth. “Few MPs even reverted, and explanations related to the ecosystem are in progress,” added Sogani. As per the research data of CREBACO, the crypto industry is huge in India already with a potential market size of 15 Billion USD, over 10 million active users, and 5 major exchanges are already in operation for a few years. The industry has the potential to generate tax revenue for thousands of crores, generate employment opportunities for over 25,000 young and educated professionals, bring foreign direct investments in the country, and provide a livelihood to lakhs of crypto traders, majorly young in age.
The industry is currently fragmented and lacks a strong representative body to engage in a dialogue with the Government. Highlighting the aspect of AtmaNirbhar Bharat, Sumit Gupta, Founder, CoinDCX felt, “Most of the players working in the crypto ecosystem today are Indian start-ups, which have been created by young skilled Indian entrepreneurs. The products developed in India treat crypto as an asset rather than a parallel currency. In fact, our industry wants to be regulated, taxed and work towards helping the government take a lead in this sector meanwhile adding revenues for it.” Today, Industry is announcing a dedicated crypto entrepreneurs association known as ABCE – Association for Blockchain &, Crypto and Digital asset Entrepreneurs. “As an industry, we have been following the global best practices. This has helped us nurture and build a clean crypto ecosystem in India. With this association, we plan to work towards bringing positive crypto regulations to India. When every other country is bringing regulations, India should not be left behind,” said Nischal Shetty, CEO of WazirX, the largest bitcoin exchange in India. India is strategically positioned between China and the US Economy and can have a great opportunity if capitalized in the right manner.
“Than many other counties, India is best positioned to take advantage of crypto assets. Be it attempting in digitisation, saving mentality, one of the biggest inward remitter, opportunities in innovation/employment, and investment. The proposed crypto ban is not balanced in providing opportunities but only looking at how the technology can be misused and India has a lot to lose if it gets through.” – Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO of Unocoin. “The Indian government and the crypto industry share two sacred values,” said ZebPay CEO Rahul Pagidipati. “First, we must protect the people from fraud and harm. Second, we must promote innovation to drive India’s global economic leadership. A ban would be costly to enforce, ineffective in protecting people, and would stifle innovation or drive some of our best minds to foreign companies.”
“The support from all the exchanges and industry participants is very encouraging. This ecosystem needs unity, I am sure that our Government will consider the proposal from ABCE before taking any further steps,” said Manoj Jain, CEO of Bitfia Labs, a decentralised wallet and payment gateway company. “Making this association is essential in getting the industry together, to have a dialogue with stakeholders in the Indian government, regulators and policymakers as their knowledge related to this industry is poor and unclear. Any emerging technology should not be controlled or banned; if it is, the place of the ban is usually punished as other jurisdictions expedite the development,” said Jagdish Pandya, Chairman at BlockOn Group.
CREBACO is a multi-national research and intelligence company focused on Blockchain and Crypto industry globally. CREBACO has works with the government, special economic zones, regulators, investors and industry participants to help regulate the industry, achieve compliance and make the industry scam free by sharing insights, data, research and intelligence for making better decisions.