Monday, 15 March 2021 11:14

India to issue law banning cryptocurrencies, report claims Featured

India to issue law banning cryptocurrencies, report claims Image by Megan Rexazin from Pixabay

India is set to put in place legislation outlawing the use of digital currencies in the country or even the mere possession of such assets, a report claims.

Reuters said it had been told by a senior government official that the proposed law would make it a criminal act to possess, issue, mine, trade or transfer any digital asset.

The report comes at a time when bitcoin, the best known of the cryptocurrencies, has hit record highs, crossing US$50,000 for the first time recently.

The rise in bitcoin's value came after electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla said it had bought bitcoin worth US$1.5 billion.

Some other well-known Americans to endorse the digital currency have been Twitter chief Jack Dorsey and rapper Jay-Z.

India had announced in January that it was looking at a ban of private digital currencies like bitcoin but creating the infrastructure for issuing an official cryptocurrency.

The measure will give current holders of cryptocurrencies in India up to six months to convert their assets, or face penalties.

If the law does come into effect, it would make India the first major country to impse such a ban. China does not allow mining or trading in cryptocurrencies, but allows its citizens to possess the assets.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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