For the first time since taking over the G-20 presidency, India has officially revealed details of ongoing work on how to regulate cryptocurrency.
“The IMF is working on a paper in consultation with us (India) that will focus on “aspects of monetary policy and the policy approach to crypto assets,” said Ajay Seth, Secretary, the Department of Economic Affairs.
Seth also revealed that the IMF convened a meeting in January with representatives from developing economies to discuss the paper. The information confirmed CoinDesk’s earlier reporting on the IMF’s role in G-20 crypto-related discussions. “There will be a 135-minute seminar on crypto assets on the policy response (during a G-20 meeting later this month), and the IMF is again preparing the finalized paper that will serve as the foundation,” he added.
On December 1, India assumed the presidency of the G-20, or Group of 20, an intergovernmental forum of the world’s 20 largest economies, including the European Union as a bloc, tasked with shaping the group’s agenda. On the eve of taking office, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that regulating crypto assets would be a top priority.
Since imposing stiff taxes on cryptocurrency in 2022 but not declaring it legal, India’s position on whether or not it is legal has been crystal clear. “I don’t wait for regulation to be in place before taxing people who make profits,” the Indian Finance Minister said when asked how a country can tax something it doesn’t recognize is legal.
“The issue of legality will arise only if something is declared illegal; crypto assets are not illegal in this country,” Seth explained, becoming the second official to clarify the situation. India’s draught bill on cryptocurrency regulation has been put on hold because it believes global consensus is required first.
“We had prepared a bill that was subject to internal debate. Following that, there was agreement that we needed to deal with it at the global level “Seth explained.
In terms of the next steps for India in shaping global crypto policy, Seth stated that the plan is to take the IMF paper from G-20 consensus to the Financial Stability Board’s crypto assets working group and then “all countries put together” because crypto is an asset class that can be traded globally and thus “it requires all countries” to accept the policy.