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Bitcoin Regulations Coming Very Soon, Says SEBI Chairman

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The Chairman of India’s Securities and Exchange Board (SEBI) disclosed that the roles of various regulators with regards to cryptocurrencies have already been defined.

In the middle of the increasing volatility of the market and the rising concerns over investors’ protection, Ajay Tyagi said that the regulations should be out very soon.

Tyagi’s remarks come not long after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Budget 2018 earlier this month. While making light of its key policies, Jaitley stressed a position he had already established before: that cryptocurrency is not accepted as legal tender in India and the government “will take all measures to eliminate“ its use in financing illegitimate activities.

Indian officials will instead help drive the development of blockchain technology in payment systems, Jaitley said in his budget speech on February 1.

SEBI has already requested the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) to call a meeting on regulation matters on the next day, the Board’s chairman announced. Tyagi was referring to the panel that was established to propose a regulatory framework after reviewing cryptocurrencies and their implications.

“We have actually decided which regulator will do what and the committee should come out with the regulations very quickly”, Tyagi stated.

Tyagi vowed that his organization “will fully contribute to this” objective and emphasized, “We want a policy to be framed first”.

Back in December, the Finance Ministry declared it was setting up a special panel to follow developments, including the volume of bitcoin related trade, and aid in the hastening of adopting crypto rules.

Representatives of DEA, the Reserve Bank of India, and the Income Tax Department were asked to take part in the committee.

New regulations are projected to be available by the end of March. They are most likely to involve anti-money laundering procedures and measures to prevent tax evasion.

Suspecting dubious transactions, officials have trained their eyes on cryptocurrency exchanges in India and banks have ceased some of their accounts. Just recently, India’s Income Tax Department declared it had given notices to 100,000 cryptocurrency investors after reviewing the operations of leading trading platforms.

The Indian crypto community had expected more transparency from Budget 2018 with regards to taxation of cryptocurrency incomes, profits and transactions. Mining and trading companies have also requested for clear policy regulations from the government.

Minister Jaitley’s reaffirmed position, however, did not offer any more light on the outstanding questions. Some view this as an imminent threat of an outright prohibition of bitcoin in his pledge to “eliminate” cryptocurrencies. Others stress that he might have meant its use for unlawful purposes.

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