Previous posts have talked about India’s interesting relationship with cryptocurrency. In 2018, India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), had banned domestic financial institutions from providing banking services to cryptocurrency exchanges in India.  In March 2020, the India Supreme Court struck down the RBI ban as unconstitutional.  The report last month that the Indian government was weighing a proposal to impose an 18% goods and services tax on Bitcoin transactions was looked on positively by the crypto community because it was seen as an indication that the government was becoming more comfortable with cryptocurrency.  Now, the pendulum seems to have swung back in the other direction. 

On January 29, 2021, the news broke that India’s Parliament is going to be considering legislation that largely bans the use of private cryptocurrency.  In the agenda published on the lower house website, the listing of new legislation includes the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021.  The purpose is described as follows:

To create a facilitative framework for creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India. The Bill also seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.

If passed, this would obviously have a huge negative impact on the use of cryptocurrency in India.

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David Zaslowsky has a degree in computer science and, before going to Yale Law School, was a computer programmer. He is currently the Chairman of the Litigation Department of the firm’s New York office. His practice focuses on international litigation and arbitration. He has been involved in cases in trial and appellate courts across the United States and before arbitral institutions around the world. Many of David’s cases, including some patent cases, have related to technology. Since 2008, David has been included in Chambers for his expertise in international arbitration.