Everyone the world over has been embracing cryptocurrencies in the last couple years. There are countries like Japan that fully embrace virtual currencies and even made it legal tender, countries that accept it, but are slapping down game-changing regulation and then there are countries like India, who want to see cryptocurrencies wiped out completely.
Arun Jaitley, India’s Finance Minister announced during his budget speech on February 1 that the country is going to do everything they can to rid India of Ethereum, Bitcoin, and all other cryptocurrencies. He stated that the country will not recognize virtual currencies as legal tender and that they want to push blockchain technologies to be compatible with payment systems.
Jaitley further stated during the budget speech, “The government does not recognize cryptocurrency as legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these cryptoassets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payments system,”
The move came to no sudden shock to Indian citizens. Arun Jaitley’s declaration came amidst months of speculation concerning the future of cryptocurrency in India. The nation is currently one of the biggest for virtual currency investors and traders. It has also been reported that one in every ten Bitcoin transactions takes place in India.
The founders of Monish Panda & Associates law firm Monish Panda had this to say about the issue, “The government will now either come out with a legislative mechanism or make suitable amendment in existing legislation to ensure that dealing and trading in cryptocurrency is made illegal and to penalise entities and individuals who are involved in their trade and circulation. We will have to wait and watch as to what will be the final framework of such legislation.”
Since cryptocurrencies skyrocketed into the mainstream, Indian officials and the Reserve Bank of India have been vocal about their distaste toward cryptocurrencies. They were declared to be little more than a ponzi scheme by the finance ministry last year. “There is a real and heightened risk of investment bubble of the type seen in ponzi schemes which can result in sudden and prolonged crash exposing investors, especially retail consumers losing their hard-earned money. Consumers need to be alert and extremely cautious to avoid getting trapped in such ponzi schemes.”