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Cryptocurrency bill India is ready, awaiting cabinet clearance

Cryptocurrency bill India is ready, awaiting cabinet clearance. 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, Finance Minister Nirmala 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, Finance Minister Nirmala 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.

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.