Illustration by Suneesh K
After the Standing Committee on Finance discussed the regulatory challenges with the industry representatives on November 15, the industry experts see a silver lining as there is an open dialogue and legitimate concerns are being discussed, which is a move forward, say the experts that Moneycontrol spoke to.
Cryptocurrency cannot be stopped but must be regulated, said the Parliamentary panel in the meeting. The Standing Committee on Finance, which was chaired by BJP's Jayant Sinha, met representatives of crypto exchanges, Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC), industry bodies, and other stakeholders to discuss the regulatory challenges of Cryptocurrency in India.
"The discussions and questions by the committee were around how the industry is operating currently, why it should be regulated and how India will benefit from cryptocurrencies. The industry has to submit a written response on these soon," said Sathvik Vishwanath, co-founder and CEO of crypto exchange firm Unocoin.
"Until now the biggest worry was that we were never called for a discussion. So we are happy that we got a chance to talk as an industry and be heard," he added.
Experts tracking the space said there is no straight-forward answer to this and multiple laws will need to be included to bring the various Government departments under one umbrella.
“The government should ideally start with a clear direction that crypto will be accorded a status similar to an asset and not a currency. The next should be filtering process in collaboration with industry and exchanges on which kind of such assets will be allowed and otherwise." said Rameesh Kailasam, CEO, India Tech.Org
Many agreed with the concern expressed at the meeting over full-page Cryptocurrency advertisements in national dailies.
“As a start for better checks and balances, ideally India founded and locally domiciled crypto exchanges and companies should be allowed to operate in this space,” added Kailasam.
Sources have said that there will likely be more discussions with the government, as the Centre is finalising a legislation on the issue and there are expectations that the government may soon pilot a bill during the Budget session to “prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India.
Anirudh Rastogi, founder of Ikigai Law, says that the law has to be very nuanced. If it is too restrictive in nature, it will be a challenge for the industry in the long run. He also adds that the opportunity that the crypto industry brings is huge in terms of capital as well as talent.
Yesterday’s panel meeting comes shortly after a high-level meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi which was held on Saturday wherein the industry experts discussed the concerns and the way forward. Earlier in September, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das had again raised concerns on cryptocurrency
with respect to financial stability.