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Need to Exercise Caution & Wait for Details: Crypto CEOs on New Bill

Soon after the expected tabling of the bill was reported, cryptocurrency prices crashed as investors panicked.

Updated
Business
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>The Centre would <a href="https://www.thequint.com/news/business/govt-to-introduce-cryptocurrency-bill-in-winter-session-of-the-parliament#read-more">introduce</a> 'The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021' in the upcoming winter session of the Parliament. Image used for representational purposes.</p></div>
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Panic selling by cryptocurrency investors ensued on Tuesday, 23 November, evening after the news broke that the Centre would introduce 'The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021' in the upcoming winter session of the Parliament.

Despite this, cryptocurrency industry CEOs remain cautiously optimistic ahead of the introduction of the bill in Parliament and say that it is better to wait to see the contents of the draft bill rather than speculate.

The bill seeks to make “a facilitative framework for creation of official digital currency to be issued by RBI”. The bill will prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in the country but will allow for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its usage, reported IANS.

Soon after the expected tabling of the bill was reported, cryptocurrency prices crashed, with Bitcoin falling over 17 percent, Ethereum falling by nearly 15 percent, while Tether went down by almost 18 percent.

Earlier, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das had sounded an alarm on cryptocurrencies, cautioning investors on the potential pitfalls of the digital currency.

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What Have Crypto CEOs Said?

Reacting to the news of the bill, Shivam Thakral, CEO of BuyUcoin, said, "We are highly optimistic about the introduction of the crypto bill in the upcoming session of the parliament. We expect the bill to accommodate the aspirations of Indian crypto owners, Indian crypto entrepreneurs, and investors who have put their faith in India’s crypto growth story."

The statement added that the crypto bill should be flexible enough to allow young blockchain projects to flourish.

"I think popular crypto-assets like bitcoin, Ethereum will be pre-approved by the regulators for getting listed on the exchange. We also request the government to give immediate clarity on the taxation and filing of crypto assets."
Shivam Thakral, CEO of BuyUcoin

Nischal Shetty CEO, Founder Wazir X, told Business Today that the stance of the government in this bill looks similar to the previous one, adding that they would have to go through the bill.

“This is a big moment for India. From a banking ban in 2018 to listing the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 in the Parliament's winter session, our nation has come a long way in these three years! It speaks volumes about how India is determined to dominate the web 3.0 era,” he said, according to India Today.

He also took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the bill and wrote that this "is not the end but the beginning of crypto regulations in India", asking people not to panic. "Industry has had the opportunity to present. Law makers understand the growing market," he wrote.

Meanwhile, Sathvik Vishwanath, co-founder and CEO, Unocoin said that the definition of what constitutes "private cryptocurrency'" is not available anywhere.

He also stated that the bill to be tabled appears the same as the one presented before, saying that there is a need to tread cautiously.

"If we go by the three, four lines that have come out today, it could seem like that there is no new bill, it is the same as the old one. For the time being, we just cannot make any sense out of this yet. But yes, investors are certainly apprehensive," Vishwanath said, according to Business Today.

A spokesperson from CoinDCX welcomed the bill with a similar statement.

“A well assessed and thought through regulation would pave the way for greater adoption of the technology and will help millions of Indians embrace this new age asset class. We are looking forward to the next steps on this," the statement read, according to India Today.

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Kashif Raza, founder of crypto education platform Bitnning told Business Today that the only thing about the bill that is causing alarm to investors is the clause about banning private cryptocurrencies.

"Basically if we go by this, only those backed by the government will be allowed, not the rest. But this is not the final one. We need to exercise caution and wait for the full bill to be tabled in the Parliament," Raza said.

Avinash Shekhar, Co-CEO, ZebPay said that he hoped the Centre would take into account feedback from the crypto industry before drafting the final bill. He also said that they were awaiting more details on the bill, but pointed out that the government has taken many positive steps with regard to crypto.

“So, we’re looking forward to a crypto bill that takes into consideration all the inputs from those discussions," Shekhar said, according to India Today.

(With inputs from India Today and Business Today.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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