Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s finance minister, announced the country’s plan to come up with standard operating procedures for digital currencies from December 2022 to November 2023.
Revealing an ambitious plan for the upcoming G20 presidency, the finance minister has spoken about collaboration on a global scale if countries are to make a decision on the future of crypto.
However, she has adopted a cautious stance against the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. Her reason for this is that they can put the country’s financial stability at risk.
When speaking to local reporters on October 15, she explained that cryptocurrencies will be a part of the country’s agenda when the G20 presidency arrives.
The Group of Twenty, also known as G20, is an international forum for discussing the issues plaguing the global economy. Sitharaman explained that no country can effectively regulate cryptocurrencies on its own.
India’s Regulatory Stance on Crypto
Although deciding on regulation for crypto will be a group project, India will likely decide on the purposes for which it will be used in the country.
She elaborates that India’s Enforcement Directorate, one of the country’s law enforcement agencies, has detected the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering.
Moreover, she reiterated that this isn’t just a major concern in India. According to a recent Chainalysis report on the Geography of Crypto, Eastern Europe is at high risk of illicit crypto-related activity, which as much as 6 percent of transactions being conducted without any KYC requirements.
Hence, members of the G20 have similar concerns, which create the need for all countries to work together in an attempt to draft reasonable crypto regulation.
India’s Own CBDC In The Works
But despite the finance minister’s own views on crypto, India is one of the biggest markets for digital assets, and the government recognizes this.
At the start of October, India’s Reserve Bank released a document providing the reasons and features of a central bank digital currency project that’s currently in the works.
In the 51-page document, analysts could understand the main reasons for the country issuing a digital rupee. Some of the main reasons include integrity, settlement finality, liquidity, safety, and most importantly, trust.
Not to mention, the government can benefit from digitalizing the currency. As of now, prominent benefits include better financial inclusion and lower operational expenses.
India’s Crypto Community
Despite not making the list of the biggest innovations in the crypto sector, India is home to one of the biggest crypto communities in the world.
It has several local crypto exchanges that provide services based on regional needs. Moreover, some brands are also starting to embrace crypto payments by allowing users to pay from their crypto wallets.