The Economic Times, one of India’s top finance newspaper, dedicated its entire front page to call on the government to provide regulatory guidance to the crypto industry.
The Indian government has been sitting on a crypto regulation bill for at least a year. Meanwhile, since the Supreme Court lifted the Reserve Bank of India’s two-year banking ban on crypto exchanges in March 2020, investment in crypto has soared.Tens of millions of Indians have invested $80 billion (INR 6 trillion) in crypto, the newspaper wrote. Given these “staggering” numbers and “massive” growth potential, India needs a “transparent and regulated environment,” the newspaper wrote on its front page.“The huge amount of Indian investor exposure to cryptocurrencies warrants quick action by the government on the regulatory front,” Prasad Rane, partner at Legaligence Strategic Consulting LLP, told Coindesk.“The global anti-money laundering agency the Financial Action Task Force [FATF] has already identified crypto assets as a source of risk and recently published guidance to regulate the industry like banks. Our government is behind the curve.”Rane stressed that most terrorist organisations accept donations and process funding through crypto assets, and it is challenging to keep track of their flow. Hence, regulation is the need of the hour.Lacking any regulatory guidance, Indian crypto exchanges have committed to comply by a code of conduct drafted by the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC) of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), an industry association, the ET wrote.The code of conduct includes know-your-customer verification for all customers, checking for fraud and market manipulation, providing an audit trail for transactions, total compliance with tax and law enforcement requirements, investor education, and matrix for addressing user grievances, ET wrote.Indian investment in crypto has ballooned to $6.6 billion this year from $923 million last year, intelligence firm Chainalysis found in July.