Bitcoin, Ether ban in India? Over half of Indians don’t want cryptocurrencies legalized: Survey | Tech News

Bitcoin, Ether? Over half of Indians don’t want cryptocurrencies legalized: Survey

Bitcoin, Ether and other cryptocurrencies to be banned in India? A survey shows what Indians want.

| Updated on: Aug 21 2022, 22:00 IST
Fate of Bitcoin, Ether? More than half of the people surveyed in India are against legalizing cryptocurrencies. (REUTERS)

More than half of the people surveyed in India are against legalizing cryptocurrencies, according to an opinion poll published on Wednesday, just as the government proposed a law to regulate their use and to create an official digital coin. The survey showed 54% don't want the government to legalize cryptocurrencies but instead to tax them like a digital asset held in a foreign country, pollster LocalCircles said. These findings were based on a survey of 56,000 people in the last 15 days.

Only 26% of those polled said cryptocurrencies should be legalized and then taxed in India while the remaining 20% didn't have a view, it said.

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News of the government preparing a bill to regulate digital coins had sparked a sell-off on exchanges popular with Indian investors on Wednesday. While the contents of the bill haven't been finalized, a proposal to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India has been included. 

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“While many Indian citizens have invested in cryptocurrencies, the absence of a robust framework leaves investors open to high risks. This is confirmed by the study findings as 71% of the study respondents have low or zero trust in the same,” said Sachin Taparia, chief executive officer at LocalCircles. 

Taparia said advertisements on cryptocurrencies, platforms and exchanges do not adequately highlight the risks. The survey showed 76% wanted advertising to be on hold until regulations were ready.   

Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das has previously said that even though the value of transactions in virtual coins has gone up, about 70%-80% of the accounts have a balance of less than 2,000 rupees ($27). 

Cryptocurrency industry demands Centre to clarify taxation, filing of crypto assets

(ANI) The cryptocurrency industry seems optimistic about the Centre's decision to introduce the cryptocurrency Bill in the upcoming winter session of Parliament.

In conversation with ANI, Shivam Thakral, the CEO of BuyUcoin on Wednesday said his firm is optimistic about the Centre's decision. He however requested the government for clarification on the taxation and filing of crypto assets.

"We expect the bill to accommodate the aspirations of Indian crypto owners, Indian crypto entrepreneurs, and investors who have put their faith in India's crypto growth story. We request the government to give immediate clarity on the taxation and filing of crypto assets," he said.

Further, expressing his hopes from the bill, Thakral said, "The crypto bill should be flexible enough for young blockchain projects to flourish. We strongly believe that there is a very strong case for a standard process for new cryptocurrencies before they get listed on any exchange in India for trading."

The young entrepreneur claimed that based on his understanding, "the government might give pre-approval to top cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum."

"Best with smaller cryptocurrencies, the government can set up an approval process or some security fees so that they don't scam investors and let investors stay protected in that particular regulatory environment," he said.

BuyUcoin is among the top ten cryptocurrency exchanges in India.

Recently, when the cryptocurrency exchanges met the Centre, they suggested setting up a regulatory body.

"It could be a hybrid regulatory body or a dedicated regulatory body which can give investors more protection and more comfort while they're investing in cryptocurrency," Thakral said. "So, we are also supporting that argument and also on the taxation part, the government is trying to understand how and what kind of taxation structure they should employ in terms of direct as well as indirect taxation. So, these were the main recommendations and these are the very common grounds; government and our industry are currently agreeing," he added.

When asked about the impact the news of the bill had on Cryptocurrency, Thakral said, "Initially, it was like most people believe that there will be a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies in India. They started to sell off their cryptocurrency and the main investors who were selling cryptocurrency were the new investor who had entered this market in 2021. But later on, when they began to understand the news, the market started to normalize."

Jay Hao, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange, a Hong Kong-based crypto exchange that has a presence in India, said, "We urge the government to take a nuanced approach towards regulating crypto assets in India. With the positive outcome of the cryptocurrency bill, India will embark on an exciting journey of becoming the global leader in crypto, Defi, and NFTs."

"India is home to the highest number of crypto owners in the world and the onus lies on the government to protect the interest of a large number of crypto investors in the country. I strongly believe that the global crypto community will be watching closely, the developments around India's crypto bill," Hao added.

The government would introduce a bill to ban all private cryptocurrencies in India, while providing certain exceptions, to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency.The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021' is among 26 new bills on the agenda of the government for the winter session of parliament beginning November 29.

The bill seeks to create a facilitative framework for the creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India.

While seeking to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, the bill "allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses". Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier this month chaired a meeting on the way forward for cryptocurrency and related issues. 

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First Published Date: 25 Nov, 00:12 IST