India to Develop Standard Operating Procedures for Crypto During Upcoming G20 Presidency, Finance Minister Says


India will be taking up the presidency of the G20 group and will continue to preside the international union for the next one year, starting in December, according to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Among its top priorities, India is looking to work with the other 19 member nations of the G20 in formulating a framework around cryptocurrencies, that would work on an international level. In a recent press briefing, the Finance Minister said that deciding on the role of crypto in the existing fintech setup in part of India’s prioritised agendas during its year-long G20 presidency.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that no one country can handle and formulate effective rules to safeguard the crypto community from prevalent market volatility as well as the exploit cases of digital assets, on its own.

“Members of the G20 are doing their own assessment on matters related to crypto assets. We would definitely want to collate all this and do a bit of study and then bring it on to the table of the G20 so that members can discuss it and hopefully arrive at a framework or a standard operating procedure, so that globally, countries can have a technologically driven regulatory framework. This is derived from the first assumption that no one single country can effectively handle or regulate crypto in any form,” said the Indian finance minister.

Speaking to Gadgets 360, Mohammed Roshan, CEO & Co-founder of GoSats said that Sitharaman is right about called for a global standard on regulations, rather than each nation having separate policies.

“After all, crypto’s transformative potential isn’t linked to any specific jurisdiction, but spans across the world.  For India, this raises hopes that we can be on the forefront of the crypto revolution to shape progressive policies that can encourage innovation in the country and be a role model for the rest of the world,” said Roshan.

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The members of the G20 — including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, and France, among others — are already reviewing a draft of legal framework around the crypto sector.

Curated by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, the draft rules presented to the G20 aim to bring more accountability to crypto transactions as opposed to the current ‘largely anonymous’ crypto transfer facilitations.

Since cryptocurrencies are not governed by any central bank or a regulatory body, they are often misused for transferring large amounts of money to cross border locations, under a shroud of anonymity.

In her speech at the recent press briefing, the Finance Minister noted that the use of crypto in money laundering is a problematic issue linked with digital assets.

Several other member nations of the G20 have also expressed concerns over the same subject, she noted, while reiterating the need for an international consensus on crypto rules.
“We do not want the technology to be disturbed. We want the technology to survive and also be in a position for the fintech and other sectors to benefit from it. But if it’s a question of platforms, trading of assets which have been created, buying and selling making profits and, more importantly in all, these countries are in a position to understand the money trade, are we in a position to establish for what purpose it’s being used? Because the recent experience in India, we detected substantial money laundering,” the Finance Minister highlighed.

In a recent report, KuCoin crypto exchange claimed that India currently has over 115 million crypto investors, making for 15 percent of its massive population.

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) favours a ban on the cryptocurrency sector, in the backdrop of which, the Finance Minister had called for global support on crypto regulations in July.

“The future of crypto in India, at least in the short to medium term, would depend on whether these regulations are positive or not. For one, we can hope for a more equitable tax policy that can balance investor sentiments along with the government’s plans to generate revenue from the sector,” Roshan added.

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