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PM Modi Chairs Meet On Crypto, Concerns Raised Over ‘Non-Transparent Advertising’

PM Modi Chairs Meet On Crypto, Concerns Raised Over ‘Non-Transparent Advertising’

There was consensus in the meeting that the steps on crypto should be progressive

Centre is expected to table the Cryptocurrency Bill in the winter or the budget session of the Parliament.

Investment in cryptocurrencies grew from nearly $923 Mn in April 2020 to $6.6 Bn in May this year in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting on the way forward regarding cryptocurrency, wherein concerns were raised on “over promising” and “non-transparent” advertising.

Citing government sources, in a series of tweets, news agency ANI said that the meeting was comprehensive and was an outcome of a consultative process undertaken by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Finance Ministry and Home Ministry.

“It was strongly felt that attempts to mislead the youth through over promising & non-transparent advertising be stopped,” ANI said in a tweet quoting sources.

The development comes a few days after concerns were raised on crypto ads on TV, magazines and newspapers, and digital platforms like YouTube. A lot of crypto platforms have onboarded celebrities as brand ambassadors for endorsements. While CoinSwitch Kuber brought Bollywood star Ranveer Singh as its brand ambassador, CoinDCX roped in Ayushmann Khurrana for a similar role. 

Another crypto startup Bitbns onboarded a slew of actors, including Biswapati Sarkar of TVF fame, veteran actors Alok Nath and Archana Puran Singh, and noted singer Anup Jalota.

During the meeting, it was also pointed out that the unregulated crypto markets cannot be allowed to become avenues for money laundering and terror financing. 

It was noted that the government is aware that this is an evolving technology and it will keep a close watch and take proactive steps.

However, despite the apprehensions and concerns, there was consensus in the meeting that the steps taken in the field of cryptocurrency and related issues by the Centre will be progressive and forward-looking. 

“Govt will continue to pro-actively engage with the experts and other stakeholders: Govt sources,” said another tweet by ANI.

The government is also of the view that as the issue cuts across international borders, it will also require global partnerships and collective strategies, the news agency said.

The Long-Awaited Crypto Regulation

Currently, India doesn’t have a framework or regulation on cryptocurrencies and the platforms facilitating the trade on this virtual asset. 

The RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has repeatedly raised red flags regarding cryptocurrencies and recently, he described these currencies as “serious concern”. 

“As a regulator, we have serious concerns (on crypto) from the microeconomic and financial stability point of view,” reports quoted him as saying.

The Indian government of late has fastened its groundwork for introducing crypto regulations in India.

According to various reports, the developments are happening at multiple levels. While the Department of Revenue is preparing a framework to levy taxes on crypto assets, the Department of Economic Affairs is finalising the content of the draft Cryptocurrency Bill.

The government is expected to table the Cryptocurrency Bill in the winter or the budget session of the Parliament.  

In September, the Finance Ministry constituted a group to examine the scope of taxation on income made from cryptocurrency trading. The committee is mandated to examine if the income from trading in cryptocurrencies can be 

The cryptocurrency market in India has been growing at a robust pace despite the lack of clarity in policy. Funding in crypto startups has shot up this year, with two unicorns (CoinSwitch Kuber, CoinDCX) emerging from this segment.  

The investment in cryptocurrencies grew from nearly $923 Mn in April last year to $6.6 Bn in May this year in India. According to a recent report by blockchain data platform Chainalysis, India ranks second out of 154 nations in terms of cryptocurrency adoption.

India has more than one crore crypto investors, and the number is significantly growing every day, with several domestic and global crypto exchanges operating in the country.