Indian Parliamentary Committee Meets With Crypto Industry, Open to Regulation

India’s Parliamentary Committee on Finance met with the country’s crypto industry experts and associations for the first time this week.

The consensus among crypto advocates was that digital assets are not going anywhere, but that the government should find a way to regulate them, which proponents say would help legitimize the nascent asset class. Although this view was endorsed by several members of the panel, others expressed their concern over the potential for misuse. 

Anticipated by crypto advocates for some time, the first such meeting with government representatives was described as “welcoming” and “progressive.” 

“The MPs were well aware of the ecosystem and how crypto operates,” according to one source. “The lawmakers wanted to understand the industry’s point of view and how exchanges work.

The committee’s perspective

According to committee chairman Jayant Sinha, the purpose of Monday’s meeting was to gain a better understanding of the market. Representatives from top exchanges presented industry figures, highlighting user bases and investments. Two of the biggest, CoinSwitch Kuber and WazirX, claim to have a user base of about 10 million each. Other industry reps put the estimate closer to 15 million registered users, with a total investment value at around 6 billion rupees ($80.5 million).

Although doubtful about such numbers in line with its persistent crypto skepticism, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) believes that other factors are also at play in accepting crypto. Japan and Korea were highlighted as countries who had “recognized cryptos in view of other aspects of the technology,” one source said. The bank emphasized any regulation must take into account investor interest, financial stability, capital controls and illicit financing.

Additionally, other panel members wanted to know how any possible misuses of cryptocurrencies could be dealt with. They also took issue with advertisements that have been enticing young people to invest in risky assets. This issue was also shared by members of a high-level panel held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week, which ultimately decided to continue proactively engaging with experts and other stakeholders in the evolving industry.

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