A blanket ban on cryptocurrency will set India back by a decade, believes WazirX CEO, Nischal Shetty. WazirX is one of India’s leading cryptocurrency investment and trading platforms. Recently in an interview with a newsagency, Shetty spilled the beans on his perspective on the recent developments about a blanket ban on cryptocurrency.  

In the interview, Shetty started with a silver lining and said that he is optimistic that the Indian government will not go for an aggressive move of outrightly banning cryptocurrency. Shetty had an astute observation that as per Anurag Thakur’s Parliament statement, the bill was initially titled “Banning of Cryptocurrency and regulation of official digital currency” in 2019. This was later modified and its now called the “Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021”. Shetty noted that since there’s no mention of the ban in its name, he is optimistic that the government may have an intention to regulate cryptocurrency and not ban it.  

What if cryptocurrency gets banned? 

However, if the Indian government passes a bill that completely bans cryptocurrency, the government will have to come up with an air-tight plan to help more than 7 million people that hold over $1 billion in cryptocurrency. Shetty believes that such a huge amount of wealth cannot be erased and if it happens, it could likely lead to an economic crisis in India.  

Shetty went on to say that a blanket ban will not only have an effect on cryptocurrency investors, but honest businesses that have worked in that particular sector will get affected. This includes the employment of thousands of people in those businesses. According to Shetty, if the nation pushes the right kind of crypto regulation using the help of all stakeholders, it could propel India in its technological pursuits. However, a wrong regulation such as a blanket ban will set India by a decade.  

Impact of Tesla’s investment on Indian cryptocurrency ‘hodlers’ 

The recent news of Tesla investing $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and revealing that it may accept bitcoin as a form of payment in the future caused bitcoin’s value to cross $50,000 for the first time in its history. Shetty claimed that due to the Musk effect, his firm also saw a surge in its trading volume and user signups. This interest by new investors comes when major companies participate and encourages smaller retail investors to get in on the action and understand cryptocurrency as an alternative investment asset.  

Reason for India’s awkward position on cryptocurrency

As of why India is moving towards a position of not accepting cryptocurrency while global leaders and organizations are accepting it, Shetty believes that it’s due to lack of information. According to the WazirX CEO, India so far hasn’t been able to form deep expertise in the technology and hence, has fallen behind the curve already. Shetty believes that if the Centre takes part in cryptocurrency technologies and incentivizes people to find an expertise in it, it will help the country in the long run.