Framing an appropriate regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets continues to be a challenge with countries taking differing approaches to find a solution.
India’s leading Cryptocurrency players, represented by IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India)and its Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC) members, organized a webinar on Friday, 14 May 2021 on the theme, ‘The Evolving Crypto Regulatory Framework – Developments in India and Singapore’ with experts from India and Singapore deliberating on the topic.
Given the scale and diversity, the good governance and regulation of the cryptocurrency ecosystem in India is critical and will give impetus to the Government of India’s Digital India vision.
The Government of India had earlier indicated that it would take a ‘calibrated approach’ towards digital assets and formulating a Bill on cryptocurrencies. A final decision is yet to be taken.
In this regard, it would be useful to consider the approach of other jurisdictions such as Singapore that has taken a balanced approach with regulations aimed at preventing nefarious activity without impending technology innovation.
Following enhancements, earlier this year to the Singapore Payment Services Act, any entity that facilitates the transmission, exchange, or storage of digital payments tokens also known as cryptocurrencies require a license to operate and are subject to expanded rules and regulations set by the Central Bank of Singapore.
Mr. Nischal Shetty, CEO WazirX said that “There are over 1.5 Crore Indians holding over 1500 Crores worth crypto-assets. WazirX signed up 1.1 Million users and recorded a volume of USD 5.4 Billion in April 2021 alone. India is no longer a niche market, but a rapidly growing financial market.”
“Despite the growth in crypto adoption, India is behind in terms of both regulations as well as several successful crypto startups. India needs its own crypto unicorns and better regulations, and for this, we must encourage our entrepreneurs to build for crypto. The Indian crypto industry is eager to help the government formulate the right regulations so that India can stay competitive with the rest of the world.” He added.
Drawing attention to established cryptocurrency regulatory frameworks from developed economies, Mr. Jaideep Reddy, Leader, Crypto-Assets and Blockchain, Nishith Desai Associates said, “Courts have generally not upheld outright prohibitions where there is a less drastic alternative. The approach of multiple leading jurisdictions shows that effective regulation is possible without resorting to a ban.”
Mr. Shetty’s firm WazirXis a member of the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC) of the IAMAI.
With a special emphasis on the regulation of the crypto market in India, Mr. Vivek Kathpalia, Head, Singapore Office and Leader, Technology Law, Nishith Desai Associates, said, “India and Singapore are both emerging as fintech hubs and we hope that regulation in India will catch up soon with global best practices”.
Stressing the need for collaborative effort amongst regulators and industry, Mr. Sriram Chakravarthi, Counsel, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP stated that, “To create an effective regulatory framework, governments should collaborate with the crypto-industry and representative bodies, and consider international approaches – particularly on the cross-border aspects of crypto-regulation. Consultation and dissemination of information between the government and the industry participants are crucial to determining the most appropriate regulatory framework and supporting innovation.”
India needs smart and sensible crypto regulation, which can lead to the financial revolution and contributes to India’s growth story.
About Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI)
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is a young and vibrant association with ambitions of representing the entire gamut of digital businesses in India.
It was established in 2004 by the leading online publishers, but in the last 16 years has come to effectively address the challenges facing the digital and online industry including online publishing, mobile advertising, online advertising, e-commerce, mobile content and services, mobile & digital payments, and emerging sectors such as fin-tech, edu-tech, and health-tech, among others.
Sixteen years after its establishment, the association is still the only professional industry body representing the digital and mobile content industry in India. The association is registered under the Societies Act and is a recognized charity in Maharashtra. With a membership of over 300 Indian and MNC companies, and with offices in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru, the association is well placed to work towards charting a growth path for the digital industry in India.
For more information, please visit: https://www.iamai.in
About Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council(BACC)
The Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC) is a Mumbai-based not-for-profit association under the aegis of the Internet and Mobile Association of India. BACC represents the interests of the members and works toward public interests.
Formed in 2020, BACC membership is open to all stakeholders of the crypto ecosystem in India like Crypto Exchanges, Researchers Investors, Law firms, and Academicians & businesses looking to leverage the technology in a compliant manner.
BACC believes in supporting a regulated environment for crypto ecosystem development in India. This can be achieved by close collaboration with existing stakeholders like Regulators, Policy Makers, Government officials, and Industry. BACC support extends to market research, collection of market intelligence, and create a proactive environment to exchange market information in terms of technology, accounting, regulatory requirements, and actual business practices.
For more information, please visit: https://www.bacc.co.in/