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Ministry of Finance Files Counter Affidavit on Cryptocurrencies in Supreme Court

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Ministry of Finance Files Counter Affidavit on Cryptocurrencies in Supreme Court

In what will come as a temporary respite, the Indian Ministry of Finance has filed a long overdue counter affidavit to the petition filed by concerned citizens. On October 25, 2018, the Supreme Court of India had directed the counsel of the Union of India to file a counter affidavit about regulations on cryptocurrencies.

Crypto Fate Hangs by a Thread

Earlier, a Supreme Court lawyer Dwaipayan Bhowmick had filed a petition in the court, requesting the Union of India to introduce a regulatory framework for the crypto space. A committee was formed on November 2, 2017, to either ban/control the use of cryptocurrencies.

Crypto Kanoon, a quasi-legal organization, broke the news on Tuesday stating that the Supreme Court asked the committee formed by the Ministry of Finance to update on the progress made until now, and also state the time-frame in which the government would be ready with the final proposal.

Kashif Raza, one of the founders of Crypto Kanoon said in a YouTube video, “they were supposed to file a counter affidavit within the space of two weeks. They took a little more time to do so, but eventually, the affidavit was submitted and filed with the court.”

The counter affidavit was filed by the Ministry of Finance that enlightened on actions the government is contemplating to take in regulating or banning cryptocurrencies.

Raza further states in the video:

“The Minister is saying that on March 2017, there was an Interdisciplinary Committee that was set up, under the Secretary of Economic Affairs [Dr. Subhash Chandra Garg], which comprised different departments, from the Reserve Bank of India, State Bank of India, Ministry of Information, among others.”

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Owing to the nature of the document which was described as ‘sensitive,’ the document was presented to the court in a sealed envelope, Raza adds in the video. One of the recommendations presented in the report states that the committee or the government does not recognize any form of virtual currencies; however if anybody is interested in trading in such virtual currencies, they should do so at their own risk.

Wait for Clear Crypto Regulation Continues

Apart from that, the committee also made another recommendation stating that it would be advisable to create another committee to decide on further course of action. The government while considering this, put together another committee on November 2, 2017. The committee comprised of several government departments including Ministry of Electronics, Reserve Bank of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), among others, Raza states.

The committee reportedly met twice after its inception and then met several times informally to discuss on various topics such as either control/ban the use of cryptocurrencies, promote the use of blockchain, or discuss the feasibility of introducing state-backed cryptocurrencies.  currencies.

On the one hand, it is great that the government finally filed the counter-affidavit, but on the other hand, crypto enthusiasts will have wait on a clear indication from the government. However, all is not lost, as only last week, India, along with other G20 nations pledged to regulate cryptocurrencies as mandated by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Therefore, if India is pledging for regulation cryptocurrencies on an international front, then a blanket ban may be out of the picture.

What’s your take on the counter affidavit filed by the Indian ministry of finance? Let us know your views in the comments section.

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