India to ban private Cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin

India is on course to ban the majority of the private cryptocurrencies after the government announced on Tuesday, a new financial regulation bill is on the move. The ‘Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency’ bill will create a framework for an official digital currency which will be issued by the Reserve Bank of India and ban almost all private cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Bitcoin is currently the world’s biggest crypto, is hovering around €53,000, and has more than doubled since the start of 2021.  It’s estimated that there are around 15-20 million crypto investors in India, with total crypto holdings of around €4.77 billion. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inaugural Sydney dialogue said all democratic nations must work together to ensure cryptocurrency “does not end up in wrong hands, which can spoil our youth”. He was asked to deliver the keynote on 18th of November. There are concerns that unregulated crypto markets could become avenues for money laundering and terror financing which would be disastrous for the whole country. The new rules are also likely to discourage marketing and advertising of cryptocurrencies.

Earlier this year, the government also considered criminalising the possession, mining, trading and transference of crypto-assets. The law, which is due to be presented to parliament in the next session, will allow exceptions to promote the underlying blockchain technology.