India could soon ban cryptocurrencies. According to Reuters, the country’s legislature is set to introduce a bill that will make trading, mining, issuing, transferring, or possessing cryptocurrency illegal.
The bill is deemed likely to pass as it is in line with the government’s strategy to ban private cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin in order to pave way for an official digital currency.
Cryptocurrency holders will be given six months to liquidate, after which penalties will be applied. An official who spoke to Reuters did not reveal the exact penalties to be meted. A government panel had earlier recommended a jail sentence of up to 10 years for cryptocurrency-related offenses.
The bill is likely to pass as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government holds a majority in parliament
In 2018, India through its Central Bank had banned crypto transactions but the ban was overturned by the Supreme Court in March 2020.
India will be the first country to make cryptocurrency illegal if the bill passes. Although China has harsh policies, they have banned mining and trading, although possession is not illegal.
Countries that have issued their own cryptocurrencies include Ecuador, Senegal, Singapore, Tunisia. Estonia, Japan, Palestine, Russia and Sweden are looking to launch their own national cryptocurrencies.