Indian startups lobby government over Bitcoin regulations

Some of India’s most prominent Bitcoin start-ups have grouped up and solicited audience with the government to showcase the cryptocurrency’s effectiveness and potential. It follows the government’s decision to establish a committee focused on researching digital currency.

The threat for these start-ups is seen as all the more pressing, since members of the ruling BJP party have outspokenly shown concern and scepticism towards the usage of Bitcoin, with one even going as far as labelling it a “pyramid ponzi scheme”.

Indian officials are already at a framework of operations for cryptocurrency in India and around the world, and aim to suggest legislative measures to curb fraud and regulate the use of Bitcoin. India’s Ministry of Finance, the country’s tax authority, was heavily involved in the creation of this committee.

Bitcoin allies

As a result, the concerns by the industry led to the creation of the Digital Asset and Blockchain Foundation of India (DABFI), which launched as a self-regulatory body and watchdog in the absence of official regulations. DABFI was founded by companies Zebpay, Unocoin, Coinsecure and Searchtrade.

Although the recent rumours about Bitcoin having been made illegal in India turned out to be false, the industry is worried about the government’s perspective on the matter. Presently, DABFI intends to have influence over the committee’s view on bitcoin, which seems to sway towards a negative view.

“We have seen that in countries where governments have come out with a self-regulation policy, created an environment for the bitcoin/ blockchain technology to grow, those countries have become the epicentre for innovation. Investments have started pouring in and next generation, new edge technology developments, user-friendly products and a new breed of entrepreneurs have developed,” DABFI says in a statement.

“Financial inclusion, cheaper cross-border remittance, full trace and track on the movement of value on the blockchain network, and the potential for India to become a financial hub are key benefits that can be derived using virtual currencies”.

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