Indians Could be Jailed for Bitcoin Transactions
In a move likely to bring a total end to crypto trading in the country, Indian authorities have proposed a law that will ensure strict punishment for those who don’t comply with its proposed cryptocurrency regulations.
India Wants to Jail Crypto Bill Defaulters
This proposal includes arrest without a warrant and jail time without the option of bail. Reuters reported that the new rules which seek to ban the use of crypto as a payment instrument in India include these punishments as part of the effort to enforce it.
The government has previously stated that it plans to ban crypto assets, similar to what China did recently. The bill intends to ban all activities related to crypto, including mining, hodling, selling, or dealing in digital currency as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and store of value.
This bill contradicts a previous statement of the government where it claims that it intends to promote blockchain technology. With this bill, the cryptocurrency sector and the growing non-fungible sector in the country will be significantly affected.
Effect of the Bill
The plans to ban cryptocurrency trading have led many investors to sell their digital assets despite the losses. According to a crypto investor, Naimish Sanghvi, Tether (USDT) lost about 25% of its value as it fell to 60 rupees ($0.8061) after news of the ban.
The high sales volume also affected many exchanges that were having problems with deposits and withdrawals. According to one of the largest trading platforms in the country, WazirX, it had to resolve issues delays experienced by users on its platform.
India has one of the largest crypto investors in the world, with about 15 – 20 million residents holding around 450 billion rupees ($6 billion) in crypto assets. With this ban, the government will also crackdown on advertisements encouraging people to invest in crypto. There’s also the likelihood of banning self-custodial wallets.
The move to ban crypto comes after the central bank expressed concerns about the risks of digital currencies. The central bank is also working to prevent registered financial institutions from getting involved in crypto. It remains to be seen what effect the ban will have on the cryptocurrency sector in India and the whole world.