According to a story in India’s local daily the New Indian Express this morning, lawmakers are considering classifying Bitcoin as an “asset” regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
Regulation for Bitcoin incoming?
SEBI will be in charge of overseeing Bitcoin activities in India and classifying it as a valid, regulated ‘asset.’ Bitcoin has previously operated in a legal grey area in India and cannot be used as currency. Investor earnings, on the other hand, are classified as “capital taxes” and are taxed accordingly.
The decision comes after El Salvador, a Central American country, legalized Bitcoin as ‘legal tender’ alongside the US dollar, allowing the decade-old currency to be exchanged for any products and services in the same way that dollars were previously exchanged.
According to the report’s sources, a law titled “Cryptocurrency Regulation” is expected to be introduced in Parliament during the Monsoon session.
Those sources have the backing of industry insiders: “We can definitely say that the new committee which is working on cryptocurrencies is very optimistic on cryptocurrency regulation and legislation,” said Ketan Surana, Director and chief financial officer at crypto exchange Coinsbit and member at the Internet and Mobile Association of India.
He added, “A new draft proposal will soon be in the Cabinet, which will look into the overall scenario and take the best step forward. We are very hopeful that the government will embrace cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.”
The news comes only weeks after Shakthikanta Das, the governor of India’s central bank, said the government was looking into legislation to integrate cryptocurrencies into the broader economy and taking efforts to limit any hazards.
He did say, though, that “major concerns” persisted and that the government was aware of the negative aspects of cryptocurrencies in a separate appearance.
Nonetheless, potential legislation would be a net plus for one of the world’s most populous yet economically struggling countries.