Indian cryptocurrency enthusiasts are breathing a sigh of relief after New Delhi announced that it will not be considering a draft bill to ban digital assets during the winter session of Parliament as was previously planned.
The draft bill, entitled “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currencies” is not included in the session agenda issued by the Lok Sabha, India’s lower house of parliament, on November 14, Cointelegraph reported.
In August 2019, the Indian government stated that the draft bill would be introduced between November 18 and December 13. The draft legislation would completely ban on the use of crypto in India but also to introduce a“digital rupee” issued by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India.
However, the proposed bill does not apply to bitcoin’s underlying blockchain technology or other related technologies, including blockchain-based financial applications.
Sohail Merchant, CEO of the Indian crypto exchange Pocketbits, said the news was a temporary relief, stressing that the community now has more time to work on a strategy to protect the industry.
He tweeted: “Draft Bill for Banning of Crypto is not on the Agenda for Parliament Winter Session. Relief for now, but use this time to come together and present our case to the regulators. Forget competition/ego & echo our thoughts with a single voice.”
Nischal Shetty, CEO of the Wazirx crypto exchange, said that the delay was great news for the crypto ecosystem in India, suggesting that the government is taking more time to reevaluate a complete ban on crypto: “Great to see Indian Government not rushing into this. They’re listening.”
India’s potential ban on crypto has been widely criticized by investors in the industry. In late October, billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the country’s hostile stance on crypto. The famous Bitcoin bull argued that India was leaving itself vulnerable to corruption by trying to ban crypto.