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If the govt issues a digital currency, it won't be cryptocurrency, says cyber law expert NS Nappinai

Updated : July 22, 2019 10:47 PM IST

The government is getting ready to introduce a bill to ban, control or regulate cryptocurrencies in the country. A top panel is batting for a ban on cryptocurrencies and has asked the government to keep an open mind to officially set up an official digital currency in India.

According to cyber law expert NS Nappinai, the primary focus appears to be on cryptocurrency as a payment mechanism. "It does not appear to have taken into account seriously the trading or other options. Broadly, what it spells out for the investor is a possible abrupt ban. It appears to be a warning to the investors; say this is your opportunity to get out. Legally today we just have a recommendation, we have a draft bill, it will have to go through the parliamentary process before it becomes the law of the land," she observed.

Nappinai said even If the government decides to issue its official digital currency, it would still not be a cryptocurrency. It would just be a digitised form of the fiat currency. "I do not see an upside to why a government would want to issue something like that, but even if it happens, it will always be pegged to the rupee, it is not going to be pegged to any speculative trading. So, the way they have kept the window open for an official digital currency as they are referring to, they appear to be under some kind of assumption that there will be a value addition to having a digitised form of the fiat currency," she noted.

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