Govt lists bill to ban all cryptocurrencies, create official digital currency of India  |  Photo Credit: Thinkstock
New Delhi: The government has listed a bill to ban private cryptocurrencies in India such as Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple among others. The Budget session of the 17th Lok Sabha will also consider the introduction of another bill to set up a development finance institution.
The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, seeks to create a “facilitative framework” for an official digital currency that will be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It also seeks to ban all private cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, and Ripple but will exempt certain uses and the promotion of the underlying technology of such tenders.
In an RBI booklet on payment systems, the government also mulled the creation of a digital version of India Rupee.
“Private digital currencies have gained popularity in recent years,” the central bank booklet said. “In India, the regulators and governments have been sceptical about these currencies and are apprehensive about the associated risks. Nevertheless, RBI is exploring the possibility as to whether there is a need for a digital version of fiat currency and, in case there is, how to operationalize it,” it noted.
A previous ban on the use of banks for the payments related to cryptocurrencies was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2018.
The government will also introduce The National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID) Bill, 2021, which aims for the creation of a new Development Finance Institution.
This DFI will “provide, enable and act as a catalyst” for infrastructure financing and as the principal financial institution and development bank for building and sustaining a supportive ecosystem across the life-cycle of infrastructure projects in the country.