A new report from a government panel in India recommends that the country ban all private digital currencies, Reuters reports. If adopted into law, the panel’s recommendations would not only make such cryptocurrencies illegal in India but would also fine and jail Indians who are caught dealing with them.
The panel has prepared a report and initial draft legislation for government review and consideration. That report argues, “There is no underlying intrinsic value of these private cryptocurrencies.” It also suggested that they lack the chief attributes of other currencies. However, the panel did recommend that the government consider the benefits of a central bank digital currency.
The report recommended harsh penalties for those who deal with crypto:
The government panel, headed by finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, recommended a fine of up to 250 million rupees ($3.63 million) and imprisonment for up to 10 years for anyone who mines, generates, holds, sells, transfers or issues cryptocurrency.
Industry players have already criticized the report and urged the government to reject the panel’s recommendations, suggesting that such a move would be a “regressive step” that would cause India to miss out on the benefits of technological innovation.