A recent survey on crypto by the Times of India has expressed a can-do attitude towards non-fiat currencies. The article champions the idea of using cryptocurrency, saying “many are now realizing its sheer potential in use-cases such as cross-border trade and global financial inclusion.” Current statistical figures have backed up the arguments of the piece.
According to some polls, India boasts more than 1.5 million BTC users, with an influx of 200,000 users each month. But the government is holding back on fully legitimizing crypto and is keeping its options open. Unlike high-tech Japan, crypto-friendly Switzerland and forward-thinking Singapore, India suffers due to lack of technical specialists that can make crypto work for the benefit of the national economy and the people. Despite the banking restrictions put in place by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) this April, India is still on the list of countries in which Bitcoin is legal, as opposed to Egypt, China, Vietnam and others.
The RBI banned Indian banks from providing services to crypto-related individuals and businesses back in August, and the worst was yet to come. Local news outlet Inc42 reported that the Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur, recently spoke out against crypto during a meeting in the upper house of the Indian legislature.
“Presently, there is no separate law for dealing with issues relating to cryptocurrencies.”
Hence, all concerned departments and law enforcement agencies, such as RBI, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax authorities, etc. take action as per the relevant existing laws.
The Indian government inter-ministerial committee (IMC) is strongly opposed to “cryptocurrencies created by non-sovereigns.” BTC will have rain clouds on the horizon if the “Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019” draft picks up steam. If the recommendations in the bill are born out, anyone who “mines, generates, holds, sells, transfers, disposes of, issues or deals in cryptocurrencies” will face a 10-year prison sentence.
Is Bitcoin Mining Legal in India?
Despite a future that is very much up-in-the-air, mining BTC in India is still possible, but it’s only profitable if it is done on a large scale with access to cheap electricity. Аccording to BitcoinBlockHalf, 17,997,150 BTC, 85.7% of the total number, have already been mined. With an inalterable total of 21 million, there are just 3 million BTC left and the 2020 halving is set to further reduce mining profits. After the halving, the reward will be cut from 12.5 to 6.25 coins, which means the clock is ticking for miners.