What Does the Future Hold for Cryptocurrencies in India?

What Does the Future Hold for Cryptocurrencies in India?

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 03 January 2019, 11:19 Hrs
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What Does the Future Hold for Cryptocurrencies in India?


Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have been very big news over the last couple of years. With wildly fluctuating prices and varied predictions for its future, this has become one of the most talked-about types of investment on the planet.



Yet, not everyone around the world can invest in cryptocurrencies in the same way. While it is considered to be legal in some countries, in others it is illegal or falls into some kind of gray area. What about India? What does the current legislation say and what can we expect to see in the years to come?



The History of Cryptocurrencies in India



Bitcoin first appeared at the start of 2009 when the mysterious creator Satoshi Nakamoto mined the very first block. At this point, the virtual currency was virtually worthless and very few people had even heard of its existence.



As the value of Bitcoin rocketed, other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Dash, and Litecoin all appeared on the scene too. The subject became one of the hottest pieces of news around, as the internet was filled with stories about price rises, price drops, legal issues and how the currencies were going to change the world.



This, in turn, led to new ways of investing in digital coins. For instance, options trading is a type of investment that sees people trade on volatility. It can be used to gain from the market rising, falling or moving sideways, making it ideal for the ever-changing world of cryptocurrencies.



All the time, cryptocurrencies were still seen as a gray area in India, due to the lack of legislation covering them. They weren’t specifically outlawed, though, so exchanges began to pop up and Indians started to buy and sell these exciting new investments.



The situation changed at the start of 2018. This is when the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the government was going to do everything possible to stop Indians from being able to buy and sell digital currencies.





The Current Situation and the Future



At the time of writing, the government’s plans are still unclear. They haven’t yet explained what the legislation that they plan to introduce consists of exactly. It was believed that they were looking at a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies. However, new information suggests that this might not be the case.



A number of cryptocurrency exchanges in the country filed a case in the Supreme Court to stop these currencies from being banned. In a response on November 19, government officials made it known that they are looking at a “draft law to control/ban the use of crypto-currencies in India”. They also mentioned the idea of studying the “feasibility of official digital currencies in India”.



It is expected that the details of the new law will be revealed at the end of 2018 or at the start of 2019. At that point, it should be clear whether the Indian Government wants to completely ban cryptocurrencies or introduce a framework that allows citizens to buy and sell them more safely.



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