India will reportedly make owning cryptocurrency illegal by introducing a new bill

According to Reuters, India is looking forward to ban cryptocurrencies by introducing a bill that criminalizes trading, mining, issuing, transferring, or possessing cryptocurrency. If this bill passes successfully, India will have some of the world’s strictest digital currency laws. As per the plan, people owning these digital assets would have six months to liquidate their holdings.

As of now, we have no idea what will be the punishment of breaking the rules. However, it must be noted that a 2019 government panel recommended a jail sentence of up to 10 years for cryptocurrency related offenses. Reuter’s source, a government official disclosed that discussions are in their “final stages”. He mentioned that there’s no strict timeline for introducing the bill.

Back in January, the Indian government outlined its plan to ban cryptocurrencies. At that time, the Indian government published an agenda for the upcoming legislative session which included banning “all private cryptocurrencies” in India with some exceptions to promote the general use of blockchain technology.

It was mentioned that the Indian government’s goal is to roll out an official government issued digital currency outlawing private alternatives like Bitcoin which reached a record high this month. So far, no other large country has implemented this kind of ban on cryptocurrency. China has some of the harshest policies but even China prohibits trading coins but does not outlaw owning them.

The proposal in-progress follows a years long fight between cryptocurrency traders and the Indian government. Back in 2018, RBI, India’s central bank cracked down on cryptocurrencies by banning banks from dealing in virtual currencies. Back in December 2020, India’s Supreme Court overturned the decision.