India Must Accept Crypto as an Asset, Says Former Central Banker

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Cryptocurrencies should be treated as an asset or commodity in India and governed by existing laws for exchanges, a former senior central bank official said in remarks that contrast the Reserve Bank of India’s current approach to the virtual coins. 

Once cryptocurrencies are accepted, rules governing commodity exchanges could apply and the coins could be used to pay for goods and services, R. Gandhi, former deputy governor at Reserve Bank of India, said during an event organized by the Internet and Mobile Association of India on Tuesday. “Then automatically people can start buying, selling and holding.”

Gandhi’s comments come as the Narendra Modi government, which initially had proposed a ban on such trades, finalizes regulations for cryptocurrencies. Although the RBI has repeatedly voiced its concerns to the government over cryptocurrencies, trading in the assets surged to $6.6 billion in May, compared with $923 million in April 2020, according to Chainalysis.  

Regulators should have access to information about how much cryptocurrencies individuals hold for tax purposes and this should be shared with the exchanges, Gandhi said. 

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