Cryptocurrency ban in India: Government is continuing efforts to prohibit all private cryptos

Cryptocurrency ban in India: Government is continuing efforts to prohibit all private cryptos

The Indian government’s ban on private cryptocurrencies through a draft bill entitled the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency 2021 has sent shockwaves around the world.

Will this lead to a blanket ban? Could the government soften its stance amid a public backlash? Those are just two of the questions after a government bulletin surfaced indicating upcoming legislation that could prohibit people from holding, selling, mining or transferring “private cryptocurrencies” in India.

The proposed legislation aims to create a framework that would facilitate the creation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The bill does leave room for interpretation. It states that the government will seek to prohibit all “private cryptocurrencies” in India, but allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.

Since the draft bill does not specify what’s meant by “private cryptocurrencies”, it’s unclear whether the proposed ban will apply to heavily traded coins like bitcoin or ether, which are not controlled or managed by any private entities.

Indian cryptocurrency ban explained: What really happened?

In terms of cryptocurrency legality in India, the government has been sitting on a crypto regulation bill for nearly three years. In February 2019, the country’s Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) released a report advocating for a law to ban cryptocurrencies in India, recommending that those caught carrying out any activity connected with crypto could be fined or face imprisonment for up to ten years.

The IMC cited heavy price fluctuations and pseudonymity within the crypto market as reasons for why they do not consider cryptocurrency to be legal tender. This initial draft bill, which was not passed in 2019, set the groundwork for the 2021 bill, with clear parallels between the two.

In April 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) barred banks and financial institutions from dealing with cryptocurrencies, citing concerns over consumer protection, market integrity and money laundering. However, this caused a national uproar and on 4 March 2020, the ban was set aside by the Indian Supreme Court.

India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, hinted at crypto regulation in India during his inaugural speech at the Sydney Dialogue last week.

The politician stated that cryptocurrencies could “spoil” Indian youth because they pose serious concerns for macroeconomic and financial stability.

Will India’s cryptocurrency ban ripple overseas?

Unperturbed by both the IMC and RBI’s efforts to enact a national crypto clampdown, 32% of Indians aged between 18-24 and 29% of those aged 35-44 have invested in crypto in 2021, according to a report by Finder.

India ranks second in the Global Crypto Adoption Index, behind Vietnam but ahead of countries such as the U.S, UK and China, while large institutional sized-transfers amounting to over $10m represent 42% of crypto transactions sent from India-based addresses. The country is also seeing increased development and usage of innovative decentralised finance (DeFi) projects.

The financial landscape and cryptocurrency regulation in India could change if the draft bill comes into effect during this year’s parliamentary Winter Session, commencing on 29 November.

Its impact on investors, crypto exchanges and policymakers, as well as the wider markets, won’t be fully known until the government releases more of the bill’s details, but crypto adoption and usage could be affected in the wake of any ban.

India is the second most populous country in the world behind China, which has already issued a ban prohibiting domestic financial institutions from dealing in or using cryptocurrency. If the draft bill passes, 2.8bn people (over a third of the global population) will have no access to crypto.

Anndy Lian, chairman of BigONE Exchange and chief digital advisor for Mongolia’s national productivity agenda, believes that if India bans crypto, it could create an outflow of investments.

“Those who want to invest in crypto would still find ways to do it outside of India. The ripple effects of this will be huge,” Lian told Capital.com.
“When the news of the bill first came out, reporters were predicting that stablecoin’s like USDT could drop by 25% to nearly 60 (INR) rupees and numerous Indian exchanges have been facing withdrawal issues due to high volumes of selling.
“But during the panic, we are missing the point that many investors are also buying USDT due to the price differences, as well as moving their assets to other global exchanges. India should take inspiration from Singapore and Switzerland’s pragmatic approaches to crypto in order to remain competitive globally.”

At the moment, the draft bill only includes one short paragraph discussing the proposed cryptocurrency rules in India. The possible impact won’t be any clearer until 23 December, when the parliamentary Winter Session concludes.

But, when news of the draft bill first broke out on 24 November 2021, WazirX, the most well-known crypto exchange in India, crashed when it experienced trading delays in the app – an issue that can result from high user activity.

A looming blanket ban? The implications for crypto traders in India

There are over 13,000 cryptocurrencies, according to data from CoinMarketCap. The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency 2021 draft bill does not specify what is meant by “private cryptocurrencies”.

If the Indian government classifies cryptocurrencies on the basis of their ownership, then all cryptocurrencies not issued by the government could be banned under the bill.

One issue is that with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin anyone can see the balance and transactions of any address because all bitcoin transactions are public, traceable and permanently stored on the network.

The blockchain – a shared immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets – is permissionless and decentralised in nature, allowing anyone to join.

This does suggest that the term “private cryptocurrency” could be void because cryptocurrencies are public, insofar as their transactions are transparent.

The ambiguity surrounding the possibility of a blanket Indian crypto ban is further intensified by the fact that the IMC draft bill proposed in 2019 states that distributed ledgers can be categorised as public or private depending on whether the ledgers can be accessed by anyone or only the participating entities in the network.

In this case, any implications of the proposed ban on crypto trading in India will only become apparent when the government explains what is meant by “private cryptocurrencies”, and whether it’s defined on the basis of ownership.

“It is unclear at this point whether the Indian government will impose a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies, it is more likely that they will seek to regulate digital currencies through several restrictions,” said Anirudh Rastogi, the Founder of Ikigai Law, a company specialising in blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
“Some of the murmurs are that the government will ban the use of cryptocurrencies for payments, though that begs the question as to how gas payments will be made,” Rastogi told Capital.com.

A government ban prohibiting all “private cryptocurrencies” could have a dramatic impact on the wider crypto community and serve as a stumbling block to crypto’s advancement as an economic force in India.

 

Original Source: https://capital.com/cryptocurrency-ban-in-india

 

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

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Securities.io Interview Series: Anndy Lian, Inter-Government Blockchain advisor & Author

Securities.io Interview Series: Anndy Lian, Inter-Government Blockchain advisor & Author

Anndy Lian provides advisory across a variety of industries for local, international, publicly listed companies and governments. He is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur, book author, investor, board member and keynote speaker.

Currently, he is appointed as the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group where he looks after the governance and compliance aspects of the business. He is also the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization.

Anndy is also part of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Blockchain Special Committee, Government of Republic Korea, together with industry experts such as Brock Pierce (Chairman, Bitcoin Foundation) and Alexis Sirkia (Founder of Yellow.com), helping the province to grow using blockchain technologies.

He is the Chairman (Singapore) for Korea eSports Industry Association (KeIA) where he is actively promoting eSports to go mainstream and adopt cryptocurrencies.

When did you initially become interested in blockchain and cryptocurrency?

My interest was in cryptocurrency first and the interest grew tremendously after reading Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System back in 2010. We were only using bitcoin as a form of a credit to exchange items online. Maybe for music download, gaming accounts etc.

As for blockchain, it was 2016. As an investor in the health and medical industry, I was invited to a close door discussion with the medical professions and a pharmaceutical company. That was the first time I know how important blockchain is. It helps to fight fake medicines and health products. It can enhance the current search and tracking model if adopted well. My interest for both grew since that point of time.

You’ve spoken to many regulators, what are some of the biggest questions or concerns that they have with DeFi and cryptocurrency?

Their biggest concern for regulators is how to balance innovation and unregulated financial activities. I dare to say all regulators are into blockchain and agree that it can do wonders.

As for unregulated activities like ICOs for instance in 2017, they are concerned that token buyers are scammed and bought into financial products that they do not know much about. This has downstream issues and may lead to more bankruptcies and social unrest. When such issues occur, who will clean up the mess? Binance? Huobi? Gemini? Coinbase? The answer is no. Governments got to step in to help their citizens.

What are some of the biggest industry challenges that you see in DeFi?

Violations of KYC/ AML: Not knowing who is who and where the money is flowing from is one of the main problems for DeFi right now. When such trades occur between unknown parties and if these parties violate any of the regulations, the consequences can be very damaging. Nevertheless, it has improved a lot from the older days.

Liquidity issues: This is still a problem although we see PancakeSwap is doing very well with their volume. There is still clear competition between CEX and DEX. There is also competition between chains on pricing too. When you see the competitions, the liquidity flows is very obvious, some totally withdraw themselves from Chain 1 to Chain 2 because Chain 2 is new and they can get more out of it.

DeFi is very complex to use: The UI and UX have increased a lot. It is still an uphill task for many to follow. Do you know how to activate the expert mode? Why I cannot sell my coins away? Where are my coins? Slippage? Many who read this article will find these problems have happened to them before and newer problems appear day to day too.

What are some cryptocurrencies that currently have piqued your interest?

Bitcoin and the original main cryptocurrencies are still of my interest, although some of them are not doing much for the last 2 years. New cryptocurrencies with innovative tokenomics like Safemoon for example piqued my interest in the recent months. A few other NFT and MEME projects have also gain my attention too.

What’s the most important attribute that you consider when reviewing new cryptocurrencies?

Concept, Marketing, Community, Technology and Business.

These are the 5 things I look at when reviewing new cryptocurrencies. The project must have a good concept and has to solve some issues. With good marketing, it can draw in support from the community at large. Technology will help them with their use cases. Last but not least, it has to have be able to gain revenue.

“Always remember, all hype but no business = failed project.”

You’ve spoken a lot in the past about NFTs, what are your current views on the space?

The NFT space is getting exciting. Recently Twitter has also joined the bandwagon, giving away 140 Ethereum NFT on Rarible. I can see more artists, movie stars, sportsmen, luxury brands, politicians knowing more about crypto because of NFTs.

The flip side is there are not enough users to buy the overwhelming creation on many platforms. Many of the demands you see may not be the real demand. In the next year, we will see the creative folks dropping out and only the toughest can survive.

Nevertheless, this space will grow faster and has not reached its fullest potential yet.

You’re currently the Chairman (Singapore) for the Korea eSports Industry Association (KeIA) where you are actively promoting eSports to go mainstream and adopt cryptocurrencies. How has the gaming community in South Korea reacted to mixing eSports with crypto?

South Korea is both strong in cryptocurrency and esports gaming. I cannot speak for all gamers in South Korea. All I can say that they are the fastest-growing country when it comes to esports + crypto.

More semi-professionals became full-time professionals thanks to the COVID19 situation and also cryptocurrency. The gamers are rewarded with cryptocurrencies instantly after the game. This becomes a revenue stream for them to continue their lives despite lockdown. Win-win situation.

You believe that the blockchain industry needs to be “redecentralised”, could you elaborate on these views?

I started advising governments earlier than most of my peers. Most of my peers think in order for crypto to grow we need to go fully decentralised. No governments, no banks. Of course, they think I am crazy too.

My stand is if we want to grow we need to redefine the word decentralise. If we can “redecentralise” things properly, we can gain acceptance faster. This has aged well with times 🙂

Is there anything else that you would like to share regarding the industry or what’s currently on your mind?

I think all coins must co-exist.

This space must mature with time and not work on groundless price pumps, washed trading or out of this world FUDs.

Let’s work together in the right manner.

Thank you for the great interview, readers who wish to learn more about Anndy and his views should visit the Anndy Lian website.

 

Original Source: https://www.securities.io/anndy-lian-inter-government-blockchain-advisor-author-interview-series/

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

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Anndy Lian Emphasizes: “Digitalization has struck every government as a priority never before.” at Hong Kong Blockchain Week 2020

Anndy Lian Emphasizes: “Digitalization has struck every government as a priority never before.” at Hong Kong Blockchain Week 2020

Anndy Lian and a panel of experts spoke on “Digital Transformation and Innovation: What’s New for Governments and Businesses” at the Hong Kong Blockchain Week 2020. This session is timely as COVID19 has accelerated the pace of digital transformation, decision-makers who were reluctant to adopt and adapt have harnessed technology innovation to keep their companies afloat, and governments are relying on digital solutions to respond quickly to the global crisis.

Digitalization has become essential and has brought up its real purpose in such times. According to ASME-Microsoft study 2020, 83% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore now have digital transformation strategies. More than half (54%) reported delays in their digitalization plans due to COVID-19. Also, despite higher digital transformation adoption, only two in five SMEs perceive their efforts to be successful. This study also coincides with what Olga Yaroshevsky, the moderator of this panel, has mentioned in global trends that only 30% of digital projects implemented have exceeded its target value.

“This is not alarming, and this trend has happened long before the COVID19 times. Governments and associations are trying hard to push the technology agenda into businesses. Legacy is not the main issue. It is an excuse. I think human interference is a bigger deferral for the adoption of new technology. “Anndy Lian, Advisory Board Member, Hyundai DAC Technology commented.

Lian added: “Whenever there is a new technology in place such as negativity, I do see much negativity that comes along with it. People do not see the positive aspects of things on such innovation. Many are too relying on government grants, which is a big disadvantage, for example. Take Singapore, for example. In the past decade, companies took advantage of the grants, but the result is that most of them stopped using it after the claims were made. This is mainly because of their mindset, and their starting point when obtaining the grant is not with the correct intention and purpose. For innovation to grow, it has to be a win-win for everybody, companies need to have the right mindset, and a good push from the government will kick start innovation in a much better manner.”

Dr. Toa Charm, Chairman, OpenCertHub & Associate, and Professor, CUHK Business School, agreed with Anndy’s point. “The subsidy is helpful but not sustainable. Companies must appreciate the digital transformation culture and appreciate the digital transformation. In the times of COVID19, governments have placed additional subsidies and grants to SMEs and different programs, but this is only for a short period and may not be sustainable. We have to make it closer to what the companies are doing, embedding the technology in our daily lives seamlessly.”

Last but not least, Anndy emphasized, “Digitalization has struck every government as a priority never before. The move into digital with AI, big data, automation, blockchain & cryptocurrencies will stay with us for a long time.”

This session consists of Anndy Lian, Advisory Board Member, Hyundai DAC Technology, Dr. Ernie Teo, Vice-Chairman, Blockchain Association Singapore, Mohammad Sear, Associate Partner, Digital Government & Public Sector Advisory, EY, Dr. Toa Charm, Chairman, OpenCertHub & Associate and Professor, CUHK Business School and moderated by Olga Yaroshevsky, NexChange Group. The panelists have also shared their insights on the subject matter, and the full recording can be found online at https://youtu.be/3aYJD6hkhKs.

Hong Kong Blockchain Week 2020, hosted by NexChange and led by their Chairman Juwan Lee delivers specialist content and expert discussions directly from industry leaders who are building the future of blockchain technology and digital assets. Professionals from all parts of the ecosystem, including investors, government, start-ups, and enterprises, come together for deep learning, robust discussions, and high-impact networking. This is the largest blockchain virtual event in Hong Kong will see the global blockchain community converge to discuss the latest developments and insights into the evolving, real-world applications of blockchain technology in finance, investment, enterprise, socially essential projects, and the global payment industry.

About Anndy Lian:
Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial blockchain entrepreneur known for his work in the government sector. He is a best-selling book author, “Blockchain Revolution 2030” and currently the Advisory Board Member of Hyundai DAC Technology. He plays a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region. Anndy is also part of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Blockchain Special Committee, the Government of Republic Korea with industry experts such as Brock Pierce. You can read more about Anndy’s work at www.anndy.com.

About Hong Kong Blockchain Week:
Hong Kong Blockchain Week 2020, 17-19 November, delivers specialist content and expert discussions directly from industry leaders who are building the future of blockchain technology and digital assets. Professionals from all parts of the ecosystem, including investors, government, start-ups, and enterprises, come together for deep learning, robust discussions, and high-impact networking. High profile speakers such as Dr. David Chung JP, Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Hong Kong; Dan Morehead, CEO & CO-CIO, Pantera Capital; Justin Sun, Founder, TRON & CEO, BITTORRENT; Roger Ver, Founder of BITCOIN.COM and Charles Hoskinson, CEO of IOHK & Founder of CARDANO were present

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

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