Possession of Bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies, could be banned in one of the most populous countries in the world

The mere possession of Bitcoin coins could be banned in India, calling into question the savings of citizens who hoped to increase their wealth by investing in cryptocurrencies.

Even as various investment funds and companies such as Tesla publicly express interest in the subject of cryptocurrencies, investing colossal sums in hopes of quickly turning projected price increases into profits, world governments are increasingly defending themselves against them. . The prospect of illicit use, such as money laundering and the invisible transfer of wealth abroad, is a matter of serious concern to nations where the “underground economy” is already a serious problem. The notion of underground economy refers to illegal economic activities, with illegal products and services, or with legal products or services obtained as a result of operations involving tax evasion.

India will propose a law banning de facto cryptocurrencies, fining anyone who trades in the country or only holds such digital assets, a senior Indian government official told Reuters. If materialized, the bill will directly affect millions of investors who have so far rushed to buy the world’s fastest-growing assets.

Considered one of the strictest policies in the world against cryptocurrencies, the new law would criminalize the possession, issuance, extraction, trading and transfer of cryptocurrencies.

But even as they prepare for the ban on Bitcoin and its alternatives, the Indian government is building a legislative framework for an official digital currency.

In the first phase, the bill would allow cryptocurrency holders to liquidate their assets for up to six months, after which penalties will be charged for any transaction attributed to Indian citizens.

Officials are confident the law will be passed, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has a comfortable majority in parliament.

If the ban becomes law, India will be the first major economy to make cryptocurrency illegal. Even China, which has banned mining and trading in cryptocurrencies, does not penalize their possession.

Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He's also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.