A lecture on “Understanding Cryptocurrency and Its Impact on Indian Economy” has been added to the agenda for the Lok Sabha or the Lower House of the Parliament at a time when India is making plans to regulate the crypto sector. Interestingly, the Lok Sabha agenda misses out on proposals suggesting a ban on crypto activities in the country during Budget Session 2022. India's stance on the crypto sector has been a node of anticipation for the past couple of years now, during which millions of Indians entered the sector to experiment with this unregulated digital finance avenue.
The lecture has been slated by the Parliamentary Research and Training Institute for Democracies department for February 2 in both online as well as offline modes.
“Hon'ble Members are requested to kindly make it convenient to attend the programme either in person or online,” the agenda published on January 31 says.
It may come as a relief for Indian investors that the crypto bill calling for a ban on private cryptocurrencies did not make it as one of the 15 bills up for government's consideration for the time being.
The bill was supposed to be tabled before the Parliament during its winter session in November last year, but that did not happen.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had revealed at the time that the bill was awaiting an approval from the Cabinet, the status of which has not changed since.
The crypto bill drafted by the Finance Ministry had also noted that the government wishes to bring an official digital currency or a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) for India.
Now that India's decision around regulating the crypto space looks delayed, the government does seem interested in educating its lawmakers about the overall sector.
In 2018, discussions around modulating the crypto sector sparked in the nation after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed a ban on crypto transactions facilitated by other lenders.
At the time, the RBI had said that the unregulated and untraceable nature of cryptocurrencies pose serious risks to the financial functioning of this country.
Later in 2021, the RBI lifted this ban backed by Supreme Court's judgment that did not favour a clampdown on crypto activities.
Crypto transactions being untraceable and prone to be exploited for illicit activities like terror funding and money laundering has been a matter of concern for several governments around the world.
In addition, the disruptive high-energy requirements of crypto mining as well as its negative environmental impacts have also emerged as concern-worthy issues for world authorities.
With all these reasons lining up, China imposed a blanket ban on crypto activities last year, making them punishable offenses.
Earlier in January, Ashima Goyal, a member of India's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had said that imposing a blanket ban on crypto-related activities is difficult to implement in India.
Meanwhile, research reports claim that India has the highest number of crypto investors in the world — around 100 million.
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