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Safe to say, the truth of the matter is a lot more gray. Yes, Jaitley talked tough on crypto currencies. But no, there was no outright ban — not yet, anyway. It did set up a committee to look into crypto back in April. Which reported in Jaitley in August. But no regulations have been confirmed, leaving rumors to swirl. Distributed ledger system or the block chain technology allows organization of any chain of records or transactions without the need of intermediaries.
The Government does not consider crypto-currencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system.
The Government will explore use of block chain technology proactively for ushering in digital economy. One clear takeaway from that is the minister is sounding much more positive about blockchain technology. And his tonal contrast between blockchain and cryptocurrencies is obviously intentional — and therefore interesting.
But whether that means you should hodl or not depends on your own personal threshold for risk. The point about the Indian government not recognizing crypto as legal tender was already made by Jaitley, back in December. And a crackdown on crypto financing illegitimate activities is what any government will say it wants to do. But nothing is explicitly stated. We are discouraging people from using it now. And no one should argue with the sense of that. Reports of the death of Bitcoin in India have been greatly exaggerated.
But how exactly will Bitcoin and crypto be regulated in India? Well, that remains to be seen.