Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her maiden budget speech in the Parliament today. Despite huge expectations from the Indian cryptocurrency community, the 130-minute speech did not mention blockchain or cryptocurrencies even once. This would have come as a huge surprise to cryptocurrency investors in India, considering that government recently announced its support for the FATF standards for cryptocurrency regulations.
While the budget speech is largely being viewed as apathy towards cryptocurrencies yet again, there is a silver lining in the cloud due to the following reasons:
- The government did not outrightly announce a ban on cryptocurrencies, despite indications from some government departments about the recommendation for draft banning of cryptocurrencies bill.
- The Indian government, including PM Narendra Modi, were part of the cryptocurrency discussions at G20 which concluded with all countries expressing commitment to the FATF Standards. Since the government did not ban cryptocurrencies, does it simply mean that the government needs more time to create a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies?
Later this month, the Supreme Court will hear the ongoing RBI vs Cryptocurrency case. The FATF commitment, combined with the Supreme Court hearing, are enough reasons for the cryptocurrency community to stay optimistic about the future of the industry in India.
Here’s our analysis of the Union Budget 2019 for our Hindi speaking viewers: