The Indian government is considering the possibility of bringing out its own cryptocurrency while the verdict relating to cryptocurrencies — prohibition on offering banking services to cryptocurrency-related entities — in the country’s Supreme Court is still pending. A panel constituted by the Ministry of Finance would likely soon recommend the country should launch a government-backed cryptocurrency, Quartz India reported Friday, citing an unnamed source.
After the country’s central bank, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), sent out a circular in April prohibiting banks from offering services to cryptocurrency-related entities, a committee was set up to review and recommend further steps for cryptocurrencies in India. A draft was to be prepared by the committee to be discussed with the ministry in July, but its deadline was pushed to the end of the year.
“We are evaluating the government-backed cryptocurrency and crypto-token. And we are looking to develop and encourage our own research and development of blockchain technology,” an official said to Quartz India, referring to the digital infrastructure on which cryptocurrencies are based. “The panel is also discussing amendment of the Currency Act to make possession of any cryptocurrency, not approved by the government, a punishable offense,” the official added.