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India crypto ban counteracts ‘Digital India’

By Yasmine Masi25 November 2021

India’s ban on all but a few private cryptocurrencies after the government announced it was introducing a new financial regulation bill would be a step backwards after spearheading a ‘Digital India’ campaign, according to Caroline Bowler, CEO of BTC Markets.

 Bowler said the ban will not work in the long-term, after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spearheaded financial inclusion, mobile phone penetration, digital identification and fintech in the last few years as part of the ‘Digital India’ campaign.

India is also one of the largest markets in the world, with over 20 million crypto investors according to current estimates.

“We also beg to differ with PM Modi’s views about cryptocurrencies “spoiling the youths”,” she said.

“What we have witnessed is that millennial investors across the board are experiencing a “once-in-a generation” wealth creation opportunity to build for their future and get ahead in life amid a global pandemic and unaffordable property prices.”

Bowler also said India should consider how this ban will be perceived by other economies who have embraced crypto-assets and implemented the adoption of digital assets including the US, the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.

“Take the case of Australia, for example. The country’s largest bank CBA allowing cryptocurrency trading on its app after previously opposing it, and today’s news about Rest Super looking to deploy a small portion of the A$66 billion it manages on behalf of mostly Millennial and Gen Z retail workers to crypto, speaks volumes of mainstream acceptance in a major market.”

Bowler highlighted how the decentralised nature of the technology backing cryptocurrency is what prohibits governments from banning or containing it.

“The US tried it with prohibition, and now the ship has sailed on an outright ban under Joe Biden’s administration, especially after the SEC approval and subsequent launch of crypto / bitcoin ETFs in the US,” she said.

Bowler emphasised BTC Markets’ support of introducing more regulation into the crypto space to build the necessary safeguards for investors, but warned banning it completely will not protect investor interest.

She also said the value of crypto for the long-term has come to the forefront as it becomes more popular among investors and the technology becomes more accessible.

“Looking at the current market capitalisation of cryptocurrency globally which now stands at US$2.6 trillion really suggests the technology and ideology that underlines the likes of Bitcoin and other crypto is shining through and traditional markets are coming around to understanding its fundamentals and legitimacy.”

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