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India proposes law to ban private cryptocurrencies, create official digital currency

The Reserve Bank of India had in April 2018 ordered financial institutions to break off all ties with individuals or businesses dealing in virtual currency such as Bitcoin within three months – a ban that was overturned by the Supreme Court in March 2020.

INDIA plans to introduce a law to ban private cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and put in place a framework for an official digital currency to be issued by the central bank, said a legislative agenda listed by the government.

The law will “create a facilitative framework for creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)”, said the agenda, published on the lower house website on Friday.

The legislation, listed for debate in the current parliamentary session, seeks “to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India; however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses”, the agenda said.

In mid-2019, an Indian government panel recommended banning all private cryptocurrencies, with a jail term of up to 10 years and heavy fines for anyone dealing in digital currencies.

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