Using Bitcoin Could Lead to 10 Years’ Jail in India: Rumor or Reality?

Using Bitcoin Could Lead to 10 Years’ Jail in India: Rumor or Reality?

India’s crypto ecosystem is edgy again as the government’s unfavorable stance on cryptocurrency continues. In a draft bill, the inter-ministerial panel — a committee tasked to draft regulations for the crypto sector — has reportedly proposed a jail term of up to 10 years for anyone having a marginal connection with Bitcoin or its ilk.

Also read: Florida Creates a Task Force to Investigate Blockchain’s Economic Benefits

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Additionally, the recommendations shed light on the government’s ambitious plan to launch a national cryptocurrency. Despite the government’s negative slant, local crypto proponents told Bitsonline they are confident the bill will not actually pass, and have suggested that all is not lost for the crypto industry.

A Wrong Turn

The Indian government is doubling its efforts to proscribe cryptocurrencies completely. A report from Bloomberg Quint suggested the inter-ministerial panel’s proposed draft bill, dubbed “Banning Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019” calls for heavy penalties and even a jail sentence for individuals dealing with digital currencies.

Besides proposing an outright ban on cryptocurrencies, the draft bill considers possessing digital currencies as a non-bailable offence. If legislated, individuals who “mine, generate, hold, sell, transfer, dispose of, issue or deal in cryptocurrencies directly or indirectly” could face jail time of up to 10 years.

It has proffered a monetary penalty system that purportedly will penalize crypto holders a value equivalent to three-times the gain made by an individual, or thrice the loss to the country’s economy.   

Moreover, any individual currently holding cryptocurrencies will have 90 days to declare their wealth. Also, it…

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