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India may ban bitcoin and introduce its own cryptocurrency

The Indian government plans to submit to the lower house of the country’s parliament for consideration a bill that prohibits the circulation in the country of private cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin. The agenda, published on the website of the lower house, states that the bill “On cryptocurrency and regulation of the official digital currency” directed “To create favorable conditions for the development of an official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India”

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In addition, it is reported that “The bill also aims to ban all private cryptocurrencies in India, however it allows certain exceptions to promote the underlying cryptocurrency technology (blockchain) and its use.”

This is not the first time Indian lawmakers have taken such a tough stance on cryptocurrencies. In 2018, an Indian government group recommended that all private cryptocurrencies be banned and punished for breaking the ban – up to 10 years in prison.

In the same year, Arun Jaitley, India’s former finance minister, said: “The government does not recognize cryptocurrency as legal tender or coin and will take all steps to stop using these cryptoassets to fund illegal activities or as part of a payment system.”

India’s monetary policy regulator temporarily banned cryptocurrency transactions after a series of fraudulent activities in 2018, but the ban was overturned by the Indian Supreme Court in March 2020 after several exchanges and traders challenged it in court.

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