By CCN Markets: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has denied knowledge of a proposed bill which would see Bitcoin and crypto ownership in India made entirely illegal. Reports surfaced last week that lawmakers in India were working on legislation that could carry a 10-year prison sentence for anyone caught holding cryptocurrency.
Amid these reports, the RBI has responded to a Right to Information request filed on June 4 by a lawyer specializing in blockchain matters. The bank states that it was not in communication with governmental agencies during the legislative process and had not received a copy of the bill.
Bitcoin and blockchain regulation in India has had a rocky ride with threats of bans being interspersed with different governmental initiatives, as well as a regulatory sandbox from the RBI.
Although the RBI denies knowledge or involvement in the bill, it does not necessitate that the reports are untrue. However, it is worth noting the high level of participation from the RBI in previous crypto matters.
Harsh anti-crypto bill
The proposed bill outlines harsh punishment for those involved in any way with cryptocurrencies. The Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, says offenders would be subject to “non-bailable” sentences, according to the draft bill sourced by BloombergQuint.
It also adds that the degree of punishment would be appropriate to the user’s cryptocurrency portfolio. The harsh nature continues when the bill states fines levied by the courts would be three times as much as the profit the individual made from crypto in the first place.