10-year jail for buying, selling cryptocurrency in India

Anybody dealing in cryptocurrency in India will be sent to jail for 10 years, says a proposal in the draft of Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2019.

According to sources, the penalty is applicable to those who “mine, generate, hold, sell, transfer, dispose, issue or deal in cryptocurrencies directly or indirectly.”

This dashes any hopes that cryptocurrency will be eventually be regularised in India.

The move is sure to tighten the noose for those who try to transact in cryptocurrencies. This also comes as a setback for various cryptocurrency trading platforms in India that have been eagerly awaiting a positive step in favour of cryptocurrencies from the government.

Economic Affairs Secretary leads the panel that is drafting the bill.

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The panel reportedly has a number of members of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). It also includes representatives from investigative agencies and Central Board of Direct Taxes among others.

Any offence related to such activities will be considered ‘cognisable and non-cognisable’.

If any conduct is punishable under any other law, this act will be in addition to, and not in derogation of such law, the article quotes the draft as proposing the penalty for cryptocurrency users.

While the draft proposed strict actions against people dealing in cryptocurrencies, it also advocates introduction of an official digital currency for India. The ‘Digital Rupee’ will be introduced after consulting the central board of the Reserve Bank of India.