India Launches Cryptocurrency Awareness Campaign

The Government of India is launching a campaign to raise awareness among the local population about cryptocurrencies, their illegality and the risks of investing in crypto assets. The initiative will be implemented by the Investor Education and Protection Authority, overseen by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs of India.. According to a local official familiar with the situation, this campaign will help convey to the public that cryptocurrencies are illegal in India and investing in them comes with high risks, especially when it comes to promises of high returns. Many members of the cryptocurrency community are concerned that these actions by the Indian authorities may put cryptocurrencies in a “bad light”. Previously, the Agency has repeatedly conducted similar campaigns to raise people's awareness of pyramid schemes and dubious crowdfunding platforms. For example, Vipul Kharbanda, a freelance fellow at the Center for Internet and Community (CIS), believes that if the Indian government takes a heavy-handed approach to digital assets and claims that they are illegal in India, this will be wrong.. Earlier, the leadership of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that private cryptocurrencies prevent central banks from solving macroeconomic problems.. However, this does not mean that crypto assets are illegal, Kharbanda argues. Despite the absence of a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, in March the Government of India raised the tax rate on transactions with cryptocurrencies to 30%, and also introduced a 1% withholding tax deduction (TDS) on every crypto transaction.. Recently, the Ministry of Finance of India has tightened its attitude towards the blockchain, refusing to implement it in the banking industry.