India’s government has been vocal about its hostility toward cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and it seems things may be once again heating up. According to a new report, the nation’s government may be planning to introduce a bill soon that, if passed, would ban all cryptocurrencies in India, including mining, potentially under the penalty of fines and prison time.
The latest developments come from Reuters, which reports that an unnamed senior government official has tipped an upcoming proposal that would ban cryptocurrencies and penalize anyone found to possess or mine the digital coins.
This would be unfortunate news for the many people in India who are actively acquiring and holding cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and monero. Though the alleged proposal would give crypto-holders half a year to liquidate their digital assets, any continued holdings, trading, mining, or related activities would be considered criminal behavior.
The report goes on to claim that insiders are confident the proposed legislation will be passed into law, effectively cutting people in India off from the booming and ever-growing private cryptocurrency market. In its place, the Indian government may instead eventually launch its own official cryptocurrency.
Under the proposal, anyone in India caught participating in the private cryptocurrency market would potentially face criminal charges, though the specifics remain unclear as the legislation hasn’t yet been published. Assuming such a bill passes, India would exceed China as having the most strict anti-cryptocurrency laws.