Indian Law Commission Recognizes Cryptocurrency as an ‘Electronic Payment’
Cryptocurrency and blockchain evangelists in India have been regularly disheartened by the response of the government towards the crypto industry. However, it seems that they can at least have their first sigh of relief. Indian lawmakers legalized the sports betting industry, worth millions, by releasing a report in July this month. It further allows payments to be accepted in cryptocurrencies, just like debit and credit cards.
The report states,
“Gambling transactions should be made cashless, making use of electronic means of payment such as credit cards, debit cards, net-banking, Virtual Currencies (VC – also known as Cryptocurrency), etc. Stringent law(s) should be put in place to control Foreign Direct Investment and at the same time, to prevent money laundering, while also implementing necessary tax reforms.”
The report, titled “Legal Framework: Gambling and Sports Betting including Cricket in India,” mentions the utility of electronic payments through cryptocurrencies as a part of the legal betting system in the nation.
Until now, the widespread campaigns of the government to bust millions of dollars involved in this industry proved to be ineffective. It was strongly believed that the popular celebrities and politicians used ‘black money’ to foster such bets, thus pulling it away from the government’s’ hands.
Realizing that regulation would be the only possible solution to this problem, the Supreme Court of India appointed the Lodha Committee in collaboration with Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) to further explore legalization opportunities. The committee believes that recreational betting and match-fixing are quite close but the thin line between them makes the former a source of tax for the government (if regulated properly) while the latter, simply illegal.
Since the 1800s India has stated sports betting and gambling activities as illegal. However, this did not stop the gamblers and betters who soon resorted to using their cash, and now cryptocurrencies for the same. With cryptos, the anonymity (or pseudonymity) comes as an added benefit for the individuals involved in this industry.
On a much general note, the cryptocurrency holders are confused in the nation as to how they can cash out or trade more since the RBI ban on banking support to cryptocurrency exchanges. Still, some exchanges like WazirX have come to be a savior by introducing peer-to-peer trading for investors and traders. Upon this action by the government, Nischal Shetty, founder of WazirX told Quartz,
“It is the first time that a body appointed by the government has given recognition to virtual currencies that they have value and can be used for a transaction. Therefore, it is a very positive sign, especially considering the report has come out after a lot of deliberation.”
While everyone’s eyes are on the Supreme Court hearing scheduled for July 11, 2018, news like these hint towards a positive future of cryptocurrencies in the nation.