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Cabinet note on cryptocurrency bill ready, awaiting clearance: FM Sitharaman

Aug 17, 2021 / 07:48 AM IST

The finance minister said Cabinet note is ready on the cryptocurrency bill. "I am awaiting Cabinet to clear that," she said. This means that the bill could likely be tabled in the Winter Session of Parliament.

Cryptocurrency (Representative image: Reuters)

The Union Cabinet is soon expected to take up a bill to regulate cryptocurrency and its growing market in India, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on August 16.

"Cabinet note is ready on cryptocurrency bill. I am awaiting Cabinet to clear that," Sitharaman said during an interaction with reporters.

In the past, Sitharaman has made her stance on cryptocurrency clear, saying that the government was not looking to shut all options and that people will be given adequate windows to experiment with blockchain, bitcoins and cryptocurrency.

In late July, Sitharaman had informed Rajya Sabha that the government does not collect information on the number of cryptocurrency exchanges and investors in India. She also said that the Finance Ministry has received no information on whether some of these exchanges are involved in narcotic drug trafficking or money laundering.

According to data from crypto exchanges, there are approximately 1.5 crore Indians who have invested in cryptocurrencies holding worth Rs 15,000 crore, with more and more people starting to invest. There are 350 startups that operate in the blockchain and crypto space.

As Moneycontrol had reported earlier, it is understood that while there will be no outright ban on cryptocurrencies, they won’t be allowed as legal tender either. Rather, cryptocurrencies are likely to be treated as a tradable asset class with a market.

A cabinet clearance between now and November means that the bill will likely be tabled in the Winter Session of Parliament.

Arup Roychoudhury
first published: Aug 16, 2021 09:10 pm
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