Former Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg Proposes Regulating Crypto as Commodity in India
Subhash Chandra Garg, former Finance and Economic Affairs Secretary of India, has told the Indian crypto community that crypto assets should be regulated as commodities. However, he stands by his draft crypto bill that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies should be outlawed.
Garg Proposes Indian Government Regulates Crypto as Commodity
Subhash Chandra Garg, former Economic Affairs Secretary and Finance Secretary of India, talked about the prospect of regulating cryptocurrency in the country during a webinar entitled “Cryptocurrency in India: What the future holds.” It was organized by law firm Khaitan & Co. in association with Blockon and Crebaco Global. Garg was the keynote speaker and he also appeared on the webinar’s panel discussion.
Garg explained via Twitter on Saturday that he made a case in this webinar for the “evolution of Demat paper currency as digital currency of future, outlawing of pretender cryptocurrencies to protect people and to allow regulated development and trading of crypto assets as commodities.”
During his keynote speech, after giving the examples of gold, silver, and diamonds, Garg said the value of crypto assets “lies in the eye of the beholder.” He added: “If someone wants to value code which is in the form of a crypto asset and wants to invest in it, it can do in that form, in that way. Crypto asset is a commodity, not a cryptocurrency.”
Garg also warned about crypto scams and Ponzi schemes, noting that it is the “duty of the government to … protect the gullible people, people who don’t know … I would suggest that the government regulates this very well.” He concluded:
Private cryptocurrencies have no justification to exist … I stand by the recommendation in that cryptocurrencies should be outlawed, should not be allowed to be operated … Crypto assets as commodities should be allowed.
Following Garg’s keynote speech was a panel discussion, during which panelists tried to convince the former finance secretary that cryptocurrency should not be banned. Nischal Shetty, the CEO of local crypto exchange Wazirx, was one of the panelists. He explained to Garg that cryptocurrency is not trying to compete with the INR. In response to regulating it as a commodity, he said there is no differentiator in the draft bill, suggesting that there could be a misunderstanding in the bill. You can watch the entire webinar and panel discussion here.
While serving as the Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, Garg headed the inter-ministerial committee which drafted the infamous bill to ban bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. He has since resigned from government. His “Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019” was submitted to the government early last year.
Since the supreme court quashed the circular by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Indian crypto industry has been growing rapidly. Local trading platforms are seeing colossal increases in trading volumes and signups. Last week, a major Indian corporation, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), launched cryptocurrency trading solutions for banks.
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