Cryptocurrencies were facing a wide market retreat Wednesday as India moves forward with plans to introduce a digital currency regulated and attached to its central bank and subsequently make most other digital assets illegal.
India will introduce a new law effectively banning cryptocurrencies in the country while also levying fines on anyone trading or even holding any of the illegal assets. The bill being introduced would shake up the red hot sector of crypto-investing and would be one of the world’s strictest stances in relation to digital currencies. Along with penalties for possessing and trading various cryptocurrencies, the new bill would also criminalize issuance, mining, and transferring digital assets.
The bill will be introduced to a parliamentary session on November 29th. If the bill passes into law, which is highly expected due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strong hold in parliament, it would give anyone holding cryptocurrencies six months to liquidate before facing fines. The bill would make India the first major economy in the world to deem holding digital currencies illegal, surpassing even China’s ban on crypto.
The Reserve Bank of India publicly denounced cryptocurrencies last month, likening the digital assets class to a Ponzi scheme while citing risks to India’s financial stability due to Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Meanwhile, over eight million investors now hold more that $1.4 billion in various crypto-investments in India and the rate of transactions grows larger by the day.
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