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Indian Government Still In Power Struggle Regarding Cryptocurrencies

India is making progress with cryptocurrency regulation, but there are still areas that need to be polished.

According to a recent tweet by member of the Indian National Congress party Priyank M. Kharge, the Indian government intends to research and develop policy for blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Govt will soon host a seminar to understand blockchains for governance & bitcoins. If necessary evolve a policy. — Priyank Kharge (@PriyankKharge) July 23, 2017

In the tweet, Kharge links an article on the apparent power struggle occurring between the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) due to differing opinions on cryptocurrency regulation. According to the publication, RBI suggested that cryptocurrencies should be traded similarly to commodities, such as gold and silver, and therefore should be tracked by SEBI to ensure they’re not used for illegal activities, like money laundering and terror funding. However, SEBI has opposed the proposal. According to an undisclosed regulatory official, "It (bitcoin) cannot be classified as commodity derivatives as per extant legal provisions."

The disparity amongst Indian officials comes at a pivotal time in the country of India. Currently, the country is recovering from a recent demonetization of all 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes from the Mahatma Gandhi Series, implemented by the Indian government in November 2016. As a result, the country has experienced a surge of cryptocurrency investments that has sent Indian officials scrambling for control measures. Shivam Thakral, CEO and co-founder of Indian cryptocurrency exchange BuyUcoin, tells ETHNews that this is exemplified by rigid mandates from government entities.

“The government has strictly guided companies involved in virtual currencies to take proper KYC norms of their customers. The ministry in India which implements the companies’ law has instructed the Serio...
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