Delay in adopting crypto may increase brain drain from India: Industry players


Industry players believe that the delay is hurting India’s prospects of becoming a major player in the crypto industry and leading to the exile of homegrown talent to crypto-friendly hubs.

New Delhi: While some smaller countries including El Salvador and Central African Republic have adopted Bitcoin as legal tender, India, along with other nations, are not willing to give up skepticism with ease.

Recently, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that India will not rush into any decision on cryptos and will take a well-considered view. “It has to take its time to be sure that at least, with the given available information, we are making a discernible decision. It can’t be rushed,” she said during an interaction with students and faculty at Stanford University in California.

However, industry players believe that the delay is hurting India’s prospects of becoming a major player in the crypto industry and leading to the exile of homegrown talent to crypto-friendly hubs.
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Ishan Arora, Partner, Tykhe Block Ventures, believes that cyber offenders should face laws and regulations regardless of the currency being used. “Fiat and crypto being treated in a similar way for law on cyber criminals is not a bad step as long as it is well thought about, keeping in mind all the stakeholders,” he said.

Not only New Delhi, even London has amplified its cynicism over the new-age asset class. Crypto assets could be seized to help combat economic crime, the British government has said.

Banking and online scams have rocketed in Britain, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Britain too is having a wait and watch policy over regulating crypto assets.

The government said, in its response to a parliamentary inquiry on economic crimes, that it will bring forward legislation to enable crypto assets to be seized and recovered more quickly, as soon as parliamentary time allows.

On the other hand, in India, the government has not yet clarified its stance on whether cryptocurrencies would be regulated or banned.

Sitharaman, in her Union Budget speech in February, had proposed a 30 per cent levy on gains from transfer of virtual digital assets, which has been implemented from April 1.

Vinayak Yannam, Co-founder & CBO, Sportzchain, said prima facie, taking a considerate view of the crypto landscape would be a good start for the government to gain some confidence of over 100 million crypto users in India.

“Actions such as the seizure of crypto assets should also be carefully drafted within these regulations, keeping in mind that a radical approach would have a deeply negative impact on the crypto and blockchain industry within the country,” he added.

Market participants believe that it is extremely important to have a balanced approach as India might see a severe exodus of talent.

Paul Rogash, CEO & Founder, EarnU, said that there is a gradual acceptance of crypto in India. “Now the minister is signalling towards informed decision making. We are sure that the government will work towards bringing in regulations, absence of which might divert activities outside the country, or perhaps black market, which will hamper the economy,” he added.
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Updated: 04/29/2022 — 22:00