Blog: Signs From Sitharaman That Indicate Crypto Regulation Could Be Coming Soon – Outlook India

On November 11, 2022, during the ninth meeting of the India-US Economic and Financial Partnership, Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman and the US Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen discussed cryptocurrency regulations.

Both Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das and US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell were present at the meeting, which took place in New Delhi. Yellen was making her first trip to India as the Secretary of the Treasury.

“The United States and India look forward to sustained engagement through the longstanding US-India Financial Regulatory Dialogue, a platform for discussing emerging financial sector issues and priority areas, including … digital assets,” said a joint statement issued by Yellen and Sitharaman after the meeting. 

Incidentally, this was not the first time that Sitharaman had spoken about the need for regulations in crypto. Here are a few more instances when she had spoken on the issue.

In G20 Presidency, Crypto Regulation Is A ‘Working Priority’

Early this month, on November 1, 2022, Sitharaman said that framing crypto assets would be one of eight priorities that ‘are still in the works for the nation’s year-long G20 presidency, which commences next month’. 

She said this in her keynote talk at an annual event organised by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), on the approaching G20 Conference. 

She said, it (crypto) would be one of the un-finalised “priorities”.

“No one single country can succeed in individually, being in a silo, trying to regulate the crypto assets,” she said. 

Discussion About Crypto Regulation With IMF Chief In New Delhi 

In September 2022, Sitharaman and the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva discussed about the significance of crypto regulation and the need for global coordination with a synchronised approach to the issue, during the latter’s visit in Delhi 

Sitharaman also requested the IMF to play a lead role with regard to regulation in this sector.

“FM Smt. @nsitharaman and Ms. @KGeorgieva discussed the significance of regulation of crypto assets and the need to have a globally coordinated, synchronized approach on the issue. FM Smt. @nsitharaman urged that the IMF should play a lead role in this regard,” the Ministry of Finance tweeted. 

India Aims At Developing Tech-Driven Regulatory Framework For Cryptocurrency 

Crypto would be part of the agenda during India’s presidency of the upcoming G-20 summit, Sitharaman had said while concluding her trip to Washington DC where she had gone to attend the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank.

She had said that India was also developing standard operating procedures for cryptocurrency during its G20 presidency next year, adding that all countries want the technology to survive but not be mis-utilised.

“That (crypto) will also be part of India’s thing (agenda during G-20 presidency),” she had said.

India will hold the presidency of the G20 from December 1, 2022 to November 30, 2023. Over 200 G20 meetings are anticipated to be held in India during its presidency, starting in December 2022.

Can’t Ban Crypto

Way back In July 2022, Sitharaman had said that cryptocurrencies could be banned or prohibited only after considerable international collaboration on the risks, benefits, evolution of common taxonomy and standards.

“Cryptocurrencies are by definition borderless and require international collaboration to prevent regulatory arbitrage. Therefore any legislation for regulation or for banning can be effective only after significant international collaboration on evaluation of the risks and benefits and evolution of common taxonomy and standards,” Sitharaman had told Parliament in a reply.
 

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