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CoinSwitch Kuber CEO says crypto ban unlikely as $6-bn assets held in India

Says regulation could happen in phases. Crypto could first classified as an asset, then taxed, and then brought under an appropriate regulatory authority

cryptocurrency | crypto trading

Deepsekhar Choudhury  |  Bengaluru 

(L-R) Vimal Sagar (Co-founder & COO), Govind Soni (Co-founder & CTO), Ashish Singhal (Co-founder & CEO)
(L-R) Vimal Sagar (Co-founder & COO), Govind Soni (Co-founder & CTO), Ashish Singhal (Co-founder & CEO)

An outright ban on crypto is unlikely as retail investors in the country hold about $6 billion of such virtual currencies, CoinSwitch Kuber founder and CEO Ashish Singhal said in a webinar on Wednesday. He also sounded a word of caution on the consequences of a ban, saying the Nigerian government had to walk back its ban within 12 days as crypto is a peer-to-peer technology that can’t be easily contained.

The session on Youtube was hosted to answer users’ queries as a listing of a bill for regulating digital currencies in the Winter Session of the parliament has put crypto users in a fix.

“We have not seen the bill and so won’t be able to talk about its contents. But based on the discussions that the industry has had with the government and our experience of the past four years, I can say that a ban is not in the offing,” said Singhal. CoinSwitch Kuber is a crypto exchange that had over 15 million users as of October. According to broker discovery and comparison platform BrokerChooser, the total number of crypto owners in India was more than 100 million last month.

According to the crypto entrepreneur, the bill may not bring about a full-fledged regulatory framework. “It is possible that regulation could happen in phases -- first, classifying crypto as an asset, then taxing it, figuring out which would be the regulatory authority and so forth,” he said.

Another company representative in the session sought to calm fears around the implications of a possible ban saying, “Your money would be safe with us.”

Singhal also said a crypto industry body met the government last week and felt that it had been receptive of how big the industry might become and what benefits it could have for the country.

“However, let me give this disclaimer. I am a forever believer in crypto. Not only my money, but my life depends on it,” he added.

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First Published: Wed, November 24 2021. 20:47 IST