India’s money laundering laws are to be extended to cover trade in cryptocurrencies, according to a statement by the federal government.
The statement said the exchange between virtual digital assets and fiat currencies, the exchange between one or more forms of virtual digital assets, and the transfer of digital assets will be covered under money laundering laws.
The safekeeping or administration of virtual digital assets and the participation in financial services related to the offer and sale of virtual digital assets will come under the money laundering laws.
India’s Enforcement Directorate, which investigates money laundering and forex violation cases, has already been looking into crypto companies including exchanges CoinSwitch Kuber and WazirX.
India is yet to finalise the legislation surrounding cryptocurrencies but The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, has previously said they should be banned because of their similarities to Ponzi schemes.
RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said: “We must be mindful of the emerging risks on the horizon. Cryptocurrencies are a clear danger. Anything that derives value based on make believe, without any underlying, is just speculation under a sophisticated name.”
Last year India introduced stringent tax rules on the crypto sector, including a levy on trading which saw a sharp fall in domestic trading volumes.
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