India's Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be Regulated

India’s Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be Regulated

India is in the process of establishing a regulatory framework for digital currencies including bitcoin. Last week, the Indian government started soliciting public comments on how digital currencies should be regulated.

Also read: India’s Government Forms Committee to Investigate Bitcoin, Report Due in 3 Months 

Indian Government Wants Public Opinions

India's Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be RegulatedThe Indian Government’s Ministry of Finance on Saturday announced that the public is now invited to submit feedback or suggestions regarding the digital currency framework on Mygov.in. This website is designed, developed and hosted by the government of India’s National Informatics Centre of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology. The deadline for submissions is May 31.

This move follows the recent constitution of an inter-disciplinary committee by the Ministry of Finance’s Department of Economic Affairs “to examine the existing framework” of cryptocurrencies.

Should Bitcoin be Banned, Regulated or Observed?

India's Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be RegulatedThe Indian government wants to know “whether Virtual Currencies (VCs) should be banned, regulated or observed?” according to the first question listed on the Mygov website.

For those suggesting regulation, the government further asks:

  1. What measures should be taken to ensure consumer protection?
  2. What measures should be taken to promote the orderly development of VCs.
  3. Which appropriate institution(s) should monitor or regulate VCs?

For those suggesting that virtual currencies should not be regulated, the government then wants to know:

  1. What should be the effective self-regulatory mechanism?
  2. What measures should be adopted to ensure consumer protection in this scenario?

Most Comments are Pro Regulating Bitcoin

At press time, over 120 comments have been submitted. The majority of them are in favor of regulating bitcoin and other digital currencies, citing they are “the future.” However, one user noted:

It’s almost impossible to regulate a currency which is decentralized, you can’t shut down a currency which is working on a peer to peer, decentralized system.

India's Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be RegulatedMany comments suggest that by legalizing bitcoin and other digital currencies, India could take the lead in digital currency adoption and the development of blockchain technologies.

Citing how Japan recently recognized bitcoin as a method of payment, a comment reads, “bitcoin should be introduced in India asap like in other developed nations.” Another proponent of legalizing bitcoin pointed out that “most of the countries already made it legal. It will definitely help boost the Indian economy.”

Some Suggest Banning

India's Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be RegulatedAmong positive feedback are also ones which warn the government about the danger of bitcoin such as the recent Wannacry ransomware scare. One user wrote “bitcoin is very dangerous for the country. It is suicidal for the Indian economy,” citing its use by terrorists and criminals. Another commenter claimed, “to allow bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency will be a disaster, it will lead to the outflow of black money easily.”

A cyber dispute risk management consultant, Vijayashankar Na, also known as Naavi, also voiced his opinion. He suggested banning bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies, claiming that the government has been misled by people with vested interests in the digital currencies.

India's Government Seeks Public Comments on How Bitcoin Should Be RegulatedHowever, there were also comments that urge the government to consider regulating bitcoin rather than banning it. One noted that “the main thing is to stop the misuses of cryptocurrencies instead of banning,” adding that “banning is not a solution, it is an action against innovation and technology.” This sentiment was echoed by another user who believes that “regulating it [bitcoin] is the solution and not banning it.”

There was also a comment which devalued all other comments. The user suggested that the Indian government already has the “most dependable and knowledgeable people” who can give advice on the matter. “I feel that public opinion in such matters should not be considered,” he wrote, adding that “all pros and cons should be discussed in parliament on advice given by a team of economists with the government.”

Do you think the Indian government will ban, regulate or just observe bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Indian Ministry of Finance


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  • concerndcitizen

    They should have the same kind of comments for all laws; ban, regulate or observe. Take a vote, let’s see how much slavery people really want.

    • Badal singh

      Regulet

  • They should also have the same kind of polls and opinion forums concerning Tax laws… Let’s see how much debt, extortion and slavery people really want…

    • Ian O’Neill

      Actually, I think technological indications are the public will indeed have much more autonomy, sooner or later.

  • Brett Ferguson

    The Indian government might want to timetravel back to 2014 when Andreas Antonopoulis addressed the Canadian and Australian Senates. Footage of both sessions are easily found on YouTube. Why ask the same questions?

    The BIG question is – what do they think can be regulated that needs to be?

    You can regulate the operation of a Bitcoin exchange, but beyond that, governments have zero chance of regulating squat. Just like they can’t regulate cash once you’ve got your hands on it.

  • Luc Marcoux

    Innovation and technology can’t be suppressed, Bitcoin can’t be removed. India will have to deal with it, this makes the ‘banned it’ issue highly impossible. Can you regulate a Open Network, Decentralized System? Such an attempt can be achieved, as long as, the average Indian wants to pay with BTC for government services, also highly unlikely! What’s left? To observe, let evolve or let grow! This is not a choice given to the Indian people, this is the new form of PUBLICITY for BTC. This is giving the poor nations of the world, a chance at adopting BTC at a good price, leaving the richer countries adopt at a much higher price later in the time frame. This, in turn, shares the wealth at a global level. My advice as a Canadian to the Indian people, not government, is adopt BTC and take your share of the wealth the world has to offer via this new technology. This is your wake up call after the rupee incident earlier. It’s coming, it was made for you ‘NOW’.

  • Anil Walia

    It’s a great innovation, Bitcoin usage & regulation will make our Nation economically strong. I think it’s the biggest revolution in the world till today.

  • p k

    i think Bitcoin usage & regulation will make our Nation economically strong so indian govt hv to do btc legillay in india and gives full authority for use it and mining it. i think its a great revolution

  • Ranjitsinh Zala

    It is definitely innovative and creative things in India and should continue further. Many countries have legalize and many more countries are thinking to make it legal in their countries. Why not in India then…..Our Government should think on those direction and come out with positive thoughts to adopt best technology for India. Even our leading banks also thinking on those direction and making tie up with other coins for cost effective and many more reasons. We should go ahead with this technology and accept the Bitcoin and other virtual currency in India.

  • shannon kennedy

    I think digital currency adoption will be great for India. It will give Indians the chance to lead the wold into a digital age of blockchain and smart contracts, allow the public to reclaim the power from the elite, and prevent situations such as the circus caused by banning Indian 500 rupee notes. I am an Australian who has lived in India and I think Indian people are the most intelligent and deep thinkers that I have ever met. I really hope Indians vote for a future that will allow them to really show the world how amazing the people and your country is

  • Kabir

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