India's former finance minister Subhash Garg clarified that "it is misleading to say that private cryptocurrencies will be banned."
The creator of India’s crypto bill, former Finance Minister Subhash Garg, dismissed the notion of banning “private cryptocurrencies” as a misinterpretation while highlighting the enormous potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
The Parliamentary discussions around a controversial crypto bill sparked fears around the ban on cryptocurrencies, with no clear indication about the ban's scope. As Cointelegraph reported, an episode of panic selling among Indian investors followed the announcement. In an interview with local news channel News 18, Garg clarified:
“[The description of the crypto bill] was perhaps a mistake. It is misleading to say that private cryptocurrencies will be banned and to intimate the government about the same.”
He believes that the Indian government should formulate a bill after discussing it with stakeholders and crypto investors. Furthermore, the bill suggests banning private cryptocurrencies without clarifying what the word “private” stands for.
As a result, the crypto community in India self-interpreted two different versions of the bill’s agenda — one that considers banning all non-government issued cryptocurrencies and the other that excludes cryptocurrencies running on the public blockchains such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
Garg also pointed out a flaw in classifying cryptocurrencies as assets after underscoring the vast ecosystem powered by disruptive technology. He also said that crypto exchanges have limited interests and do not represent the entire community:
“You don’t classify the wheat that you produce, you don’t classify the clothes you produce, as assets. That is too much of oversimplification to treat this as an asset.”
On an end note, Garg added that the central bank digital currency (CBDC) initiatives, especially in countries like India, are complex. According to him, the government first needs to address challenges, including the unavailability of smartphones and digital wallet issuance.
The Indian crypto market continues to attract international firms with the latest being Coinstore, a Singaporean crypto exchange. As Cointelegraph reported, Coinstore has allocated a $20-million fund to set up three new offices in the region.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Coinstore spokesperson was hopeful for the development of a positive crypto regulatory framework:
“Strict KYC process, security requirement for exchanges, as well as gradual regulation of certain cryptocurrencies naturally protects the Indian users and would clarify the legality of certain cryptocurrencies.”