India's IT Trade Association, Nasscom, Clarifies That Cryptocurrencies Are Illegal

  • India's IT trade association,  Nasscom, has clarified that dealing in cryptocurrenices is illegal. 
  • Nasscom also said regulators need to focus on making regulatory policies that do not stifle innovation. 

The Hindu Businessline reported on October 25th that Debjani Ghosh, the president of the National Association of Software & Services Companies (Nasscom), had said digital currencies were illegal and requested India’s citizens to abide by the nation’s laws and regulations.

Contacting Authorities For Clarification 

Ghosh had also said that in cases where people need clarification regarding the Indian government’s rules, requirements, or policies for a particular type of business activity, then they should contact the authorities for clarification.

Nasscom, an India-based trade association for business process outsourcing (BPO) and IT, has made it very clear that digital currencies are illegal, Ghosh noted. She said:

It is law of the land and hence, we have to work with it. If we do not agree, we have to go back to the government and speak about why cryptocurrencies aren’t correct.

Debjani Ghosh

As CryptoGlobe reported recently, Indian authorities have increased their scrutiny of crypto-related businesses in the country as they reportedly took down India’s first Bitcoin ATM (BTM) - which had been installed by local digital asset exchange, Unocoin.

Problems Due To "Failure Of Policy Making"

According to the local police department, Unocoin’s BTM was taken down because the exchange operator was reportedly not authorized to set up the machine. As covered, Unocoin had been trying to bypass the reserve bank of India’s (RBI) ban on cryptocurrencies by using BTMs.

Commenting on the Indian government’s stance on crypto assets, Ghosh said:

The genesis of this problem, however, lies in the failure of policy making not keeping pace with rapid technological changes.

Debjani Ghosh

She added: “Nasscom’s focus would be to say, how do you synergise technological development and policy making. I think that will be our focus.” When questioned about India’s current regulatory framework, Ghosh noted that there is a lot of confusion, or lack of clarity.

"Trying To Understand Cryptocurrencies"

However, she also said that Nasscom was “looking into” various issues, or challenges, related to using cryptocurrencies in India and was “trying to understand it, [in order] to have some clarity in terms of guidelines for startups.”

As covered, the Supreme Court of India has supported RBI’s stance against cryptos as the nation’s reserve bank had ordered all local financial institutions to stop offering banking services to those dealing in cryptocurrencies.

The RBI had claimed that bitcoin (BTC) and other digital currencies help facilitate and encourage illegal transactions

VC Firm Andreessen Horowitz Unveils Who'll Teach at Its Free Crypto Startup School

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has unveiled who’ll be teaching at its free Crypto Startup School, and instructors include Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong, Calibra’s head of strategy, and some of its own general partners.

According to a blog post, the list of instructors will also include Coinbase’s chief legal officer Brian Brooks, and its ex-chief technology officer Balaji Srinivasan. From Andreessen Horowitz various general partners will be instructing in the course, as well the founder of Compound Robert Leshner, and the founder of Parity Jutta Steiner.

The post, written by program manager at the Crypto Startup School Jesse Walden, details:

They will share lessons they’ve learned, early best practices, new project ideas, and important considerations to help aspiring entrepreneurs and builders get started.

The school’s program is set to start on February 21 of next year, and will end on April 3. The free seven-week course was announced last month, and as reported the course’s lessons will only be for those whose applications get accepted. Later on, however, a16z plans to make videos of these lectures as well as course materials available to the public.

Some of the main topics that are to be addressed at the Crypto Startup School include cryptocurrency business models, fundraising strategies, regulatory landscape, an overview of application development tools, and more.

Featured image via Pexels.