Suggest regulating cryptocurrencies to Finance Standing Committee, which began looking at digital units ahead of Winter Session
Banning cryptocurrency or assets would not be a “good idea” and the Centre should rather consider regulating the new business, various stakeholders told the Finance Standing Committee of Parliament here on Monday.
A panel member told BusinessLine that there was a broad understanding that cryptos cannot be banned but they need to be regulated.
Industry associations and stakeholders were not clear in their suggestions about the regulatory framework.
Some members pointed out that El Salvador is the only country to legalise cryptos while China has banned them.
The meeting was inconclusive. “We heard their views. We heard that the government is bringing a law. That Bill would also come to us so that we can remain prepared. The industry told us that cryptos are a part of the blockchain technology, a new entrant in the technology market. People can create independent network using this technology. So their demand was not to ban it so that India can take a leading role in this new technology,” the MP said.
But most members, he said, were concerned about the security of investors’ money. “We asked for the industry’s opinion on several points. The first and foremost was how to ensure the safety of people’s money. We also asked them about their assessment on the total amount invested in cryptos and their views on what is to be done about cryptos. Their opinion was mostly that do not ban them but put in some regulation,” a member said.
MPs also flagged full-page advertisements on cryptos in national dailies. Some MPs felt that crypto currencies and assets were almost like “Ponzi schemes” on which the government had cracked down with strong regulations.
The Standing Committee will ask the Finance Ministry to depose before it at its next meeting. The RBI had given its view to the panel in August. “We may again approach the RBI with some questions,” another member added.
One Opposition MP said the country should have a policy on crypto currencies. “We do not have a policy for cryptos now. We called several sections of the industry. We had asked for their opinions. CII, Assocham and independent observers have given their views. Today we called them to get their views. Some people who design cryptos and IIM- Ahmedabad also made presentations,” he said.