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Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Laws and Regulations 2023 | India

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Laws in India are still not very well established. Read on to know Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Laws in India and how you can legally work with them.

Cryptocurrency has seen tremendous growth in India in the last few years, with the number of users increasing exponentially. This growth is attributed to the government’s efforts to promote digital payments and the proliferation of digital wallets. Additionally, the open market for cryptocurrency trading and the ability to convert cryptocurrency into actual currency has made it increasingly attractive to investors. The government has also taken several steps to regulate the cryptocurrency industry in India, such as introducing a framework for crypto assets and enhancing cyber security. This has made India one of the most attractive markets for cryptocurrency investments. Let us read about the to Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Laws in India. 

What are Blockchain and Cryptocurrency? 

Blockchain technology is a distributed ledger system that records, stores, and tracks digital transactions in a secure and reliable way. It is a continuously growing list of data records, linked and secured using cryptography. Blockchains are decentralised, meaning they are not controlled by a single entity or government. 

Because of this, it is considered to be a more secure and reliable way of storing and transferring data. Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionise the way data is handled, stored, and transferred. Its benefits include increased security, improved scalability, and reduced transaction costs. Additionally, it can provide a permanent and immutable record of transactions, making it especially useful for financial and legal applications.

It is used in cryptocurrency to maintain a public record of all transactions that have taken place within the system. This allows for better transparency, security, and traceability of transactions. Additionally, blockchain technology is used to create new coins, verify transactions, and provide a secure platform for trading.

Cryptocurrencies are decentralised virtual currencies and are not controlled by any government or central authority. The main benefits of cryptocurrency are that it is secure, private, fast, and cost-efficient. Transactions are secured using cryptography, which helps to protect against fraud and counterfeiting. Additionally, transactions are fast and cost-efficient since they are not subject to the same fees and delays as traditional payment methods. Cryptocurrency also offers privacy since it is decentralised and not controlled by any government or central authority.

Taxes on Cryptocurrency 

The Indian government has not yet created any specific laws governing the taxation of cryptocurrency. However, cryptocurrencies are generally treated as capital assets and are subject to capital gains taxes. This means that any gains from the sale of cryptocurrency must be declared for tax purposes. Additionally, cryptocurrency transactions may be subject to other taxes, such as income tax and Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The Income Tax Department of India has issued a statement in March 2018 that the income from cryptocurrencies would be treated as capital gains. Therefore, the applicable tax rate would depend on the holding period of the asset. For example, if the cryptocurrency is held for less than 36 months, the applicable rate of tax would be 20%, while if the holding period is more than 36 months, it would be 10%.

Regulation of Cryptocurrency 

Cryptocurrency is not a legal tender in India. A legal tender is a form of payment recognised by law that must be accepted in the settlement of a debt. Legal tender is usually in the form of a coin or currency that is issued by a government.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued warnings to the public and financial institutions to be cautious while dealing with cryptocurrencies. The RBI has also prohibited entities regulated by it from providing services to any individual or business dealing with cryptocurrencies.

Sales Regulation 

Cryptocurrencies are currently not regulated in India. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued warnings to the public regarding potential risks associated with cryptocurrencies, and the government has proposed a draft bill that would ban all cryptocurrencies, except those used in research and development. Additionally, the Supreme Court of India has asked the government to consider regulating cryptocurrencies.

It is important to note that cryptocurrencies are not recognised as legal tender in India and are subject to capital gains tax. This also means that cryptocurrency can be used for investment and virtual trading but it cannot be used to pay off debts or be used in banks. 

Ownership and Mining of Cryptocurrency 

The status of cryptocurrency in India is still uncertain. In 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a circular prohibiting banks from providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges, making it difficult for people to buy, sell, or trade digital currencies. This ban was later overturned by the Supreme Court of India in March 2020. This could potentially lead to the legalisation of cryptocurrency in India in the near future.

Although the ban has been lifted, the legal status of cryptocurrencies in India remains unclear, and it is still not considered legal tender. However, there is no ban on owning cryptocurrency in India, and it is not illegal to buy, sell, or trade digital currencies.

The mining of cryptocurrency in India is currently not legal. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued a notice to all banks, advising them to not provide services to any entity or individual dealing in cryptocurrencies. This means that cryptocurrency mining, trading, and exchange are illegal in India. The government is yet to issue any specific guidelines in this regard.

Conclusion 

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology have been the new hype and national authorities are still working on laws related to it. There are some decisions made so that people know how to deal with cryptocurrencies but further clarification and a strict set of rules are still required. Cryptocurrency is not recognised as legal tender in India, meaning that it is not a legal medium of payment in India. Cryptocurrency trading is not regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).  Cryptocurrency exchanges are not authorised by the RBI to deal in cryptocurrency and are not regulated.  Crypto trading is subject to capital gains tax. All cryptocurrency transactions must be reported to the Income Tax Department. Cryptocurrency trading is not regulated by the RBI and is currently considered a risky investment option in India. Hope this blog was helpful. For more information about Blockchain and Cryptocurrency laws contact experts from Vakilsearch.

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