India’s Push for International Crypto Regulation Takes Center Stage at G20 Summit

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As India prepares to host the G20 summit in September, the focus is turning towards crypto regulation. The topic has been discussed at previous G20 summits, but the conversation has evolved significantly over the past year.

Crypto Regulation Remains A Hot Topic

Several countries have moved to regulate the crypto sector since the last G20 summit in July 2022. The EU has passed its landmark MiCA regulation, while the UK and the United States Congress have turned their attention to the space. In addition, lawmakers in countries such as Nigeria, Hong Kong, South Africa, and the Bahamas have also ramped up oversight of crypto firms.

With the United Nations estimating that India is home to the world’s largest population, the country has a unique opportunity to lead the conversation. The Indian government is already introducing dedicated legislation in the form of the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill. In its 2022 budget, India’s lower house also brought digital assets, including cryptocurrencies and NFTs, within its tax regime.

However, the Indian government has recognized that effective tax and regulation will require international agreement. Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary has stated that crypto assets are borderless and any legislation can only be effective with international collaboration. 

To that end, a common taxonomy and standards must align with existing international trade agreements.

India Hasn’t Given up on Crypto Yet

Earlier this month, India’s finance minister revealed that the government is pushing to create a global policy approach toward crypto. He also noted that several discussions had been scheduled to occur during India’s G20 presidency this year.

A successful G20 Summit could encourage member countries to commit to greater regulatory alignment, enabling closer collaboration on tackling money laundering. Clear guidelines for international businesses could also promote innovation and adoption.

Moreover, crypto products can empower the financially excluded in India, where bank account ownership rates remain low and the traditional financial sector underserves many people. Crypto, alternative payment, and savings products can fulfill many functions of bank accounts and payment cards. With the country’s digital infrastructure growth, crypto finance offers an effective way to serve these populations.

India already has some of the highest crypto adoption rates among G20 nations. One survey found that 8% of respondents in the country reported owning Bitcoin (BTC). Meanwhile, Chainalysis’ 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index ranked India rather high.

A Positive Event Looms Ahead

India’s push for international crypto regulation could lead to greater regulatory alignment among G20 nations. By working together, these countries can tackle money laundering and foster innovation and adoption. 

Moreover, crypto products can offer a way to empower the financially excluded in India and beyond. As the world watches India’s G20 presidency, the hope is that this vital topic will be addressed with global cooperation and forward-thinking policies.

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