In the midst of the uncertainties surrounding the future of cryptocurrencies in India, Infosys Chairman Nandan Nilekani remarked on December 1 that crypto assets may be utilised to increase financial inclusion.
“There is a role for crypto as assets,” Nilekani, who co-founded Infosys, said at the Reuters Next Conference. “But they obviously will have to follow all the laws and make sure that it doesn’t become a backdoor for money laundering… they have to use that [as] an entry point to get a lot of young people into financial markets.”
Because the tech tzar has advised successive governments on tech-related matters, Nilekani’s views are significant. He is credited with designing Aadhaar and served as the head of the UIDAI in 2009. He was appointed to a panel to advise the Centre on e-commerce in July of this year.
His comments on crypto assets come a day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave the crypto industry a ray of light when she told Parliament that the government would introduce a new Bill on cryptocurrency after receiving Cabinet approval.
According to Sitharaman’s comments, the Centre may replace the previous Bill draught, which reportedly planned to “prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India” with some exclusions in order to promote the underlying technology and its applications.
However, Moneycontrol previously revealed that the 2019 and 2021 bills have different names. The ‘Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Draft, 2019’ urged a blanket ban, however the current bill is titled ‘Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021.’
Industry leaders believe that the government would adopt a “positive direction” on cryptocurrency use after hearing the finance minister’s statement in Parliament on November 30.
“The bill’s prior draught was extremely harsh on cryptocurrency. So things can only go better from here. It appears that the government is moving in the right path because it is spending time researching technology and regulations “Unocoin’s CEO and Co-Founder, Sathvik Vishwanath, stated.
According to Sharan Nair, the Chief Business Officer of CoinSwitch Kuber, “This is an encouraging indicator. There would have been no need to alter the Bill if they intended to outlaw it; they would have simply done so. However, it appears that they are giving it more thought and looking for more intricacies.”