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印度政府或将全面禁止私人加密货币

印度政府可能正在考虑全面禁止使用比特币和其他加密货币。

10 月 30 日,在由印度财政部长 Shri Arun Jaitley 主持的金融稳定与发展委员会 (FSDC) 第十九次会议上,虚拟货币作为议题被提了出来。

据印度政府新闻局 (PIB) 文件,委员会审议了加密资产 / 货币的问题和挑战,并意在制定一个适当的法律框架,禁止在印度使用私人加密资产 / 货币,并鼓励在 2018-2019 年度预算中宣布使用分布式分类账技术。

对此,一个印度监管政策分析平台 Crypto Kanoon 认为,声明中的 “禁止使用” 一词,可能意味着购买、出售、交易或兑换法币(卢比)的行为被禁止,但并不意味着禁止加密货币本身。

据悉,印度金融稳定与发展委员会成立于 2017 年 12 月,其任务是制定规范数字货币的规则,成员包括印度储备银行 (RBI) 副行长 BP Kanungo 和印度证券交易委员会 (sec) 主席 Ajay Tyagi。该委员会原预计在 7 月前提交条例草案,但后来被推迟。

印度某高级政府官员曾就此向Quartz 表示:“我认为没有人真的想要完全禁止加密货币。问题是监管,我们需要知道资金来自哪里。 允许加密货币成为 (一种) 大宗商品,可能会让我们更好地监管贸易。”

今年早些时候,印度央行的一项禁令沉重打击了印度的加密货币行业。2018 年 4 月 6 日,印度储蓄银行(RBI)出台新政,规定该国居民不能通过银行账户或数字钱包进行数字货币交易(即法币兑换业务)。除此之外,RBI 还禁止银行为任何受管辖内的企业,提供相关结算服务,并给予 3 月缓冲期,于 7 月 5 日正式生效。

禁令生效后,掀起了一系列的蝴蝶效应。印度交易量较去年 11 月至 12 月的峰值水平降低了十分之一;印度最大的交易所 Zebpay 在今年 9 月宣布关停交易所,撤离印度;另一家当地交易所 Unocoin 则利用稳定币与比特币 ATM 机来规避禁令,允许用户购买和出售加密货币;除此之外,点对点(P2P)加密货币交易平台的交易量也随之上涨。尽管如此,据估计,该国仍有近 500 万至 600 万加密货币用户。

但国内形势愈发严峻。今年 10 月,因无牌照,印度首个加密货币 ATM 服务亭遭中央犯罪支行 (CCB) 官员周二的搜查,陷入了法律困境;此外,交易所 Unocoin 联合创始人在 10 月也遭印度当局逮捕。

对此,印度交易所早在禁令发布后就开展了一系列的自救运动。最初的形式是请愿,Change.org 曾提交 “使印度处于区块链应用革命前沿” 的请愿书,请求印度政府支持区块链和加密领域,据统计,该请愿书上线 5 天即获得超过 1700 万的签名。

但更多的交易所采取了诉讼的方式,目前该诉讼案件仍在最高法院审理当中。 在 10 月 26 日举行的最后一次听证会上,法院已指示政府澄清其在加密货币问题上的立场,并在两周内提交一份宣誓书。

The Indian government may be considering a blanket ban on the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

On Oct. 30, at a meeting of the financial stability and development council (FSDC), headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley, the issue of virtual currencies came up.

“The council…deliberated on the issues and challenges of crypto assets/currency and was briefed about the deliberations in the high-level committee chaired by the secretary (economic affairs) to devise an appropriate legal framework to ban use of private cryptocurrencies in India,” the government’s Press Information Bureau (PIB) said in a release.

The word “use” in the statement may imply that buying, selling, transacting, or its conversion into rupees may be banned but not possession itself, according to Crypto Kanoon, a platform engaged in regulatory analysis and raising legal awareness about digital currencies in India.

Representatives from the banking sector and the markets regulator were also present at the meeting. Subhash Chandra Garg, secretary in the department of economic affairs, who is heading a panel on cryptocurrencies, was also part of the meeting, as per the PIB statement.

The panel was set up in December 2017 and had been tasked with coming up with rules to regulate digital currencies. It was expected to submit the draft regulations by July but has since been delayed. BP Kanungo, deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and Ajay Tyagi, chairman of market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, are also part of the panel.

Earlier this year, the RBI dealt a body blow to the cryptocurrency industry in India after it forbade banks to have any business relationship with the exchanges or traders after July.

This has had a disastrous effect on the virtual currency ecosystem in India. Volumes are one-tenth from the peak in November-December last year, and the situation is so dire that Zebpay, the country’s largest exchange, has already shifted out of India. Still, according to estimates, there are nearly 5-6 million cryptocurrency users in the country.

Pushed against a wall, the exchanges entered into a legal tussle with the RBI and the government. The matter is now in supreme court. In the last hearing on Oct. 26, the court had directed the government to clarify its stand on the matter of cryptocurrencies and to file an affidavit on it within two weeks.

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