What do Indians think of cryptocurrency legalization?


India -The cryptocurrency debate is a hot discussion topic in India. As the government prepares to introduce its cryptocurrency bill in Parliament’s winter session that is beginning on Monday, a survey by LocalCircles has revealed that more than 50 percent of Indians don’t want digital currencies to be legalized in the country. They, however, have extended their support to the decision of RBI (Reserve Bank of India) to roll out India’s own digital currency.

Survey also witnessed 76 percent of people wanting that cryptocurrency-related advertisements must be put on hold until there is more clarity on regulations around it. 71 percent of Indians said that they had zero or nil trust in international digital currencies. 51 percent of survey participants said that they favored the government’s decision to roll out state-issued cryptocurrency. 54 percent didn’t want the government to legalize the crypto but rather tax them as an overseas digital asset. On the other hand, 26 percent said they supported cryptos to be legalized and taxed in India.

On November 23rd, the Government listed “The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021” that would be introduced in the Parliament’s Winter Session. The bill seeks to prohibit the trading of all private cryptocurrencies in India but will allow certain exceptions to promote the technology of cryptocurrencies and their uses.

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The bill follows concerns raised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and RBI about digital currencies in the last few weeks. According to industry experts, India’s digital currency market is noted to have grown from $923 million in April 2020 to $6.6 Billion in April 2021. But RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das raises questions over the number of Indian cryptocurrency users, which he doubts is highly exaggerated. He said that approximately 70-80 percent of users have small balances of Rs 500-1000. Das has also warned about the impact of crypto on the macroeconomy and financial stability.

In addition to the RBI and the government, “activists and many citizens have also raised concerns on LocalCircles about crypto platforms targeting youngsters through misleading advertisements, promising high returns and highlighting how quickly upper and upper-middle classes have gotten into trading in cryptocurrencies in the last 18 months as well as a serious risk of middle- and lower-income classes getting lured into it.”

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