Author - Associate Tarannum Siddiqui
The advent of Cryptocurrency is a revolution in the domain of money. The popularity it gained and the issue raised about the legality and illegality of cryptocurrency are trending matters of discussion among people. In India, this digital currency was accepted; however, the plethora of confusion was the outcome. Thus, the government of India decided to make the regulation of digital currency, which is undoubtedly a very different and much-required step.
Right from the beginning, Cryptocurrency is eminent as a digital currency used in online transactions. They are completely distinct from the traditional currency, and the most remarkable thing is that no authority controls it. It led to making cryptocurrency attraction of many investors in India. As the usage of cryptocurrency increased, almost everyone witnessed the cons of using cryptocurrency simultaneously. Some of the issues that arise are a surge in corruption, misuse of money, money laundering and more.
To stop this, the governing bodies and other concerned authorities decided to ban and regulate the usage of cryptocurrency in India. The government has decided to impose severe punishment on the people who are still using cryptocurrency. According to the draft of "Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2019", the usage of cryptocurrency in India is illegal, and anyone caught using, holding, selling, dealing or transferring it will be accountable to the punishment that is ten years imprisonment which is not bailable. Thus, the main reason for proposing the bill is to safeguard India from various money scams. Although, there is also one more aspect, which came into view, that India will introduce its digital currency, however, it is not confirmed yet, but there are chances that it will happen soon.
The decision of banning the use of cryptocurrency is not sudden as in the year 2018, the then finance minister, Arun Jaitley, had clearly announced about the illegality of them. Ever since various hints from RBI and government have been given time to time to express the discouragement towards cryptocurrency. The government is taking strict actions against the usage of digital currency because it encourages the supply of drug and porn in India. The absence of authority made it a pretty easy option to use it for wrongdoings. These currencies are a threat to our tradition as well as to the economy. At the same time, cases of fraud also increased to eliminate all these issues the government has decided to regulate the usage of cryptocurrency. The implication of regulation of cryptocurrency by the authority ensures the correct usage and will decrease the scams. Like India, various other countries have also decided to regulate the usage of cryptocurrency.
If we see the status of cryptocurrency in some other countries, such as the US, we can find that it is different from India as the usage of cryptocurrency is legal there. One of the cities in the U. S. also accepts tax in the form of bitcoin. If we talk about the situation in Nigeria, it is found that Bitcoins are legal in Nigeria; however, the government of Nigeria doesn't recognise Bitcoin as legal by the central bank of Nigeria. The status of cryptocurrency in Russia is not very clear. The country does not announce that Bitcoins are legal; however, they didn't also announce that it is illegal. Thus, people in Russia are buying and holding this currency as the government didn't ban it, so the citizens are investing in it freely.
One of the countries that completely legalise the usage of cryptocurrency is Germany. The country not only legalises it but also inventing blockchains. Malta is also the country that legalises various cryptocurrencies for the transactions. People in Vietnam also investing in cryptocurrency whereas the government has not declared it as legal currency for transaction.
We can conclude it by saying that most of the countries like India tried to ban and regulate the uses of cryptocurrencies. The same measures in various countries have been taken to decrease its usage whereas there are few countries present which accepted the cryptocurrency and allowed transactions in it. If we particularly focus on cryptocurrency and its status in India, it is clear that it is not legal and the government discourage its usage for any transaction. The causes, which resulted in this output, have already been discussed in the passage. The draft bill, which states the illegality of this currency, has already been proposed by the government and punishments for such offence have been announced as well. However, there are still some people who do their business in this currency. Perhaps, banning it became a matter of dispute as many people feel that in place of banning it the government can take some other measures.