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Cryptocurrency basically relies on exchanging digital information from one person to another. In the past decade, cryptocurrencies have seen a thousand-fold rise in the prices of coins, making people attracted to these markets. For example, the value of bitcoin in the early part of was 0. This stupendous rise in prices has attracted people from across the globe to invest in the crypto currency, with the aim to earn more profits.
This creation of unrealistic profits is not just limited to one cryptocurrency, but a similar pattern has been observed across currencies. Some popular crypto coins are Ethereum, Ripple, Cardano etc. Now the question that arises is, with so many people entering the crypto market and investing crores of rupees on a daily basis, is there anyone who is regulating the affairs of such transactions and are these transactions even legal.
The article aims to discuss the rationale behind crypto- its merits and demerits, legislations regulating crypto by various governments and approaches of the Indian Government on the same.
CryptoCurrency was invented after the Global Economic Crisis, to have a decentralized form of currency for individuals. This was created with the intent to prevent any actions or inactions where the governments or the banks could completely tremble the economy of the World. In , the first decentralized cryptocurrency, bitcoin, was created by presumably pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin was created as a way for people to engage in financial transactions without relying on banks or governments.
No one controls your money, but yourself and these transactions are generated, secured and verified because of the use of cryptography. As per a very recent estimate, there are more than crypto currencies today.
The first of the lot was Bitcoin, which was followed by Lite Coin in Crypto currency in the future will perform similar functions to fiat cash and is soon to be introduced in day-to-day transactions. Unlike the traditional Stock Market, the crypto market is very volatile. Recently, the crypto market saw a very big dip in the market because China decided to ban crypto currency.
Bitcoin and altcoins refers to all virtual currencies except for Bitcoin have all reached their lowest prices in the past 6 months. Further, the effect on the prices by mere tweets of wealthy individuals makes one wonder whether the market has any parameters or is it just a bubble that is yet to burst. People are still suspicious and hesitant before entering the market because of its volatile nature. Further, because Crypto coin mining can be done by any individual or group of individuals, how can their credibility be determined.
This Article ponders upon the question of whether the virtual currency sphere has any rules or regulations that control the market and approaches of various countries. The union has provided a definition for virtual or crypto currencies.
It defines virtual currencies as a digital representation of value that is neither issued by a central bank or a public authority, nor necessarily attached to a fiat currency, but is accepted by natural or legal persons as a means of payment and can be transferred, stored or traded electronically.
In the decision of Hedvist, the European Court of Justice had held that transactions to exchange a traditional currency for virtual currencies and virtual currencies for traditional currencies constitute a supply of service for consideration. The judgement recognized the value and nature of these currencies. Though these currencies are recognized across Europe, there is still an environment of uncertainty regarding these transactions.
It stated that virtual currencies are high risk and unregulated products, therefore are unsuitable for investment, savings or retirement planning.
It seeks to include custodian wallet providers and virtual currency exchange platforms within the scope of the AMLD. This would help in fulfilling due diligence requirements and have policies that can prevent money laundering, terrorist financing etc. It is quite clear that virtual currencies have not yet received recognition in European countries as it is considered to be a market that is not stable. United Kingdom today does not have any specific set of laws that regulates the crypto sphere, but it deems the regulation of these currencies as necessary.
It states that regulation is necessary because it would help in combating illicit activities, promote market integrity and protect the safety and soundness of the financial system. The Bank of England Act under Section 2A states that it is the responsibility of the Bank of England to protect and enhance the stability of financial systems in the United Kingdom.
In respect to the provision, the Bank considered the risk that is posed by the use of cryptocurrencies in the United Kingdom. After a thorough understanding, it came to the conclusion that the crypto market is currently not large enough to pose any material risk to monetary or financial stability within the country. It is also necessary to ensure consumers are protected while using forms of payment from money laundering, taxation and use of these systems to finance terrorism or any other crime.
This country does not recognize crypto as a legal tender and the banking system also does not accept virtual currencies. In a circular, the government defined Bitcoin as a virtual commodity, but while warning citizens about the risks of virtual commodities allowed them to freely participate in the online trading of such commodities, but the attitude and perception of the government have been changing in recent years. Since , the government has taken steps to prevent activities related to crypto currencies, due to concerns regarding financial risks.
Cryptocurrency mining requires huge amounts of computing power, making energy consumption a major overhead for the industry. China very recently imposed a ban on mining due to its very heavy electricity consumption.
This has majorly impacted the miners, as they flock to different countries to seek refuge, and many miners even end their operation to comply with government directions. At the time, when China is banning crypto currency, it is also necessary to point out that the central bank of China is planning to come out with its own form of crypto currency. Therefore, the attitude of China regarding the regulation of Crypto currency is still unclear as it is stating contradicting objectives to the world at the same time.
This country is among the very few that have actually started taking steps for creating legislation regulating virtual currencies. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network FinCEN does not essentially consider cryptocurrency as a legal tender but at the same time, it considers the crypto currency exchanges to be money transmitters.
It recognizes these currencies as a substitute for the natural currency. Further, it has also issued tax guidance regarding the same. The same also has been approved by a circular by the IRS.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has also indicated that the cryptocurrencies are to be considered as securities and security law will be applicable to it. The Commodities Futures Trading Commission CFTC has recognized currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and allowed trading of virtual currency publicly on all the exchanges that it regulates.
In Israel, for instance, crypto mining is treated as a business and is subject to corporate income tax. In India and elsewhere, regulatory uncertainty persists, although Canada and the United States are relatively friendly to crypto mining.
However, apart from jurisdictions that have specifically banned cryptocurrency-related activities, very few countries prohibit crypto mining. Our Freeman Law Cryptocurrency Law Resource page provides a summary of the legal status of cryptocurrency for each country across the globe with statutory or regulatory provisions governing cryptocurrency.
The globe below provides links to country-by-country summaries:. Do you have questions about cryptocurrency, digital currency, or blockchain technology? Freeman Law can help with digital currencies, tax planning, and tax compliance.
WebMar 20, ï¿½ï¿½ In , RBI imposed a ban on banks from facilitating cryptocurrency transactions which kept the Indian Cryptocurrency industry in turmoil. The ban was . WebNov 27, ï¿½ï¿½ In the case of Internet and Mobile Association of India v. Reserve Bank of India, Supreme Court struck down the circular. The supreme court decided that crypto . WebTHE LEGALITY OF CRYPTOCURRENCY IN INDIA. With India's rapid technological progress and extraordinary breakthroughs, particularly with the introduction of COVID .