India may classify Bitcoin as an asset class in India soon, The New Indian Express reported, citing persons aware of the development. This would be a break from the hostile stance it had taken towards cryptocurrencies earlier.
This comes at a time when Central American country El Salvador has adopted Bitcoin as legal tender.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will oversee regulations for the cryptocurrency sector after Bitcoin gets classified as an asset class, the news report added.
The report further suggested that India’s crypto industry is in talks with the Finance Ministry regarding formulation of fresh regulations.
An expert committee at the ministry is studying the matter and a Cryptocurrency Regulation Bill may be tabled in Parliament during the upcoming Monsoon Session, the report added.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the news report.
An asset class is a bunch of financial instruments that have similar financial characteristics and behave similarly in the marketplace.
Earlier, Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani had said that India should accept cryptocurrencies as an asset class. “Just like you have some of your assets in gold or real estate, you can have some of your assets in crypto. I think there’s a role for crypto as a stored value but certainly not in a transactional sense,” Nilekani told The Financial Times.
On June 10, Bitcoin surged 8 percent. The world's biggest and best-known cryptocurrency is up by nearly 31 percent from the year's low of $27,734 on January 4.
Bitcoin has risen since June 8, around the time El Salvador announced it was legalising the use of the particular cryptocurrency in day-to-day money transfers. The move came at a time when cryptocurrency is seeing regulatory pushback in major countries.Read | Cryptocurrency prices on June 11: Bitcoin, Ethereum and Tether