Updates to Parliament on Cryptocurrency Bill and Crypto Exchange Investigations from the Indian Government

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The Indian government has offered some updates on its cryptocurrency bill and the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian parliament, investigations into bitcoin exchanges.

The minister of state for finance stated, “Crypto assets are by definition transnational and require international engagement to prevent regulatory arbitrage.”

On Monday, different members of Lok Sabha, India’s lower house of parliament, posed two sets of inquiries to the Indian government on cryptocurrencies and their regulation.

In order to determine “the current status of the cryptocurrency bill, which was due for table during the winter session of the Parliament in 2021,” and “the timeframe within which the cryptocurrency bill would be tabled and subsequently be open for public inputs,” Parliament member Bhartruhari Mahtab asked the minister of finance.

In response, Pankaj Chaudhary, a minister of state in the Ministry of Finance, did not give a time frame:

Since cryptocurrencies are by definition borderless, international cooperation is necessary to prevent regulatory arbitrage.

Mahtab additionally requested information from the finance minister regarding the ministry and/or department in charge of overseeing the regulation of cryptocurrencies, crypto tokens, and other “virtual digital assets” like non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized applications (dApps), real estate tokens, and other blockchain-based assets.

The Ministry of Finance currently oversees policy regarding crypto assets and the ecosystem that surrounds them.

Parliament Members Also Request Information About Crypto Exchanges That Are Being Investigated

Additional inquiries from numerous additional lawmakers ask for “information of cryptocurrency exchanges that are being looked into by the government for cases of tax evasion and money laundering.”

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), according to Chaudhary, is looking into a number of cases involving cryptocurrency frauds in which a few crypto exchanges have also been discovered to be involved in money laundering. The Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999 (FEMA), the minister said, has also resulted in the seizure of assets of Rs. 289.68 crores ($35,046,152) as of Dec. 14.

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In response to members of the Lok Sabha’s crypto inquiries, the Ministry of Finance released a table.

Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister, stated in October that the country intends to discuss cryptocurrency legislation with the G20 nations in order to create “a technology-driven regulatory framework” for cryptocurrencies.

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