Soon, buying Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies could land you in jail
India's stance towards cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum could soon get a whole lot stringent. An unconfirmed report from last week has indicated that the government is considering a draft bill aimed at banning all kinds of digital tokens and punishing those engaged in their trading, hoarding or mining. Here's all about the proposal.
The draft, dubbed Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019, has proposed making digital tokens completely illegal and a non-bailable offense in the country. It has called for 10 years of jail term for anyone who mines, trades, holds, sells, transfers, issues, or deals in cryptocurrencies. According to Bloomberg Quint, the bill would soon be introduced in the Parliament.
In addition to the jail term, the bill also proposes a financial penalty for those trading or dealing in cryptocurrencies. As part of this, the offender would be held liable to pay up to three times the amount they gained from the crypto transaction or the loss caused to the exchequer - whichever turns out to be higher.
The new regulations would stop people from trading in cryptocurrencies henceforth. Plus, who already have digital tokens hoarded will get a 90-day period (from the announcement of the Act) to declare and dispose off their cryptocurrencies. Post that, their digital tokens would be deemed illegal and they could face imprisonment for holding the same.
If this law comes into force, a new regulatory body may also be created to monitor all the activities related to cryptocurrencies in the country. This would make it difficult for people to sneak and trade in digital money.
Government bodies, including the I-T Department and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, have long opposed cryptocurrencies as they're used for money laundering, financial crimes. However, interestingly, with this new law, the bill has also proposed the idea of India having its own digital currency - an official Digital Rupee. The decision regarding it would be taken after consultation with the RBI.