India May Side-Step Parliament to Push Through Crypto Bill: Report

The Indian government is reportedly planning to fast-track its proposed cryptocurrency bill using the ordinance process.

Similar to an executive order in the U.S., an ordinance law is put into effect by India’s president on the recommendation of the cabinet, and would be equivalent to an act of parliament, according to Wikipedia. The route is only supposed to be taken when parliament is not in session.

The government is keen to pass the “Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021” within a month of clearance of the ordinance, according to a CNBC-TV18 report on Friday. The Indian Prime Minister’s Office and Finance Ministry, and Cabinet secretariat have started preparing the draft details of the ordinance, it said. 

The arrival of the bill would potentially kick off the development of a digital rupee while banning “private cryptocurrencies,” per previous reports

What the bill would mean for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether isn’t clear, but the cryptocurrency industry has expressed concerns it could represent an outright ban.

That would pose a major threat to the nation’s crypto industry, which has seen quick growth seen since a central bank ban on banking for cryptocurrency firms was overturned in March of last year.

Local cryptocurrency exchanges recently started a joint initiative, the #IndiaWantsBitcoin campaign, to convince parliament to regulate cryptocurrencies rather than impose an outright ban. 

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