Bitcoin ban saga in India continues
According documents on the website of the Indian parliament (PDF, page 26), the government of India is planning to introduce a law for debate on Lok Sabha that could ban the use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin within the country. The law also requires the creation of a national digital currency issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The bill is entitled “The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021” and its idea is:
“Create a facilitating structure for the construction of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India. The bill also aims to ban all cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies and their uses. “
When the document says that there should be “certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies”, it talks about blockchain, which has other uses. For example, earlier this month, it was reported that NHS is using blockchain technology to store vaccines at the correct temperature.
The law that the government is trying to introduce is just the last episode in a long saga. In April 2018, Reuters reported that the RBI told financial institutions to stop serving individuals and companies that dealt with virtual currencies like Bitcoin within three months. The country’s Supreme Court overturned this decision in March 2020, which means that people were free to buy and sell Bitcoin again.
Although Bitcoin is traceable, it is certainly more difficult for the government to track what is going on when people use it to buy and sell goods. It is possible for governments to see who bought and sold what at the exchange level, but when it comes to finding out who owns a Bitcoin wallet, it becomes much more difficult to find out who is doing what.