India will decide on implementing cryptocurrency regulations after extensive discussions with other countries, a senior official said on Sunday, virtually ruling out a ban on such assets.
Ahead of G20 leaders' summit, the IMF and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) had last week made a strong case for a coordinated global policy action to deal with risks posed by cryptocurrencies and said that there should not be any blanket ban.
The IMF-FSB recommendations laid out a "roadmap" and suggested "bare minimum" regulations that every country should have on cryptocurrencies.
If any country wants to have a more stricter regulation, it can frame a more restrictive regulation depending on the risk it sees from cryptos, the official said.
"Now G20 leaders have endorsed it and now ministers and governments will discuss it and take it forward. We expect a lot of discussion to happen on how to implement it faster, swifter and in a comprehensive manner. We have a good framework to decide our own way forward. The foundation is ready, beyond that how much we want to go it is for us to decide in coming months and then take a call," the official said.
India has been pressing for a global regulation on cryptocurrencies to tackle tax evasion and round tripping of funds. India's central bank RBI has been asked for a complete ban on cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Ether, saying they are akin to gambling.
The official said it would be difficult for one country to ban cryptocurrencies and globally a consensus has to be reached that all countries follow the "bare minimum" regulation that the IMF-FSB paper has outlined.
"If you want to ban it (cryptocurrency), go ahead and ban it. But if the rest of the countries are not banning it, it will be extremely difficult for one country to ban it. Now that discussion, we have to take up and try to build a consensus on regulation. Then we gradually decide on our own system. The discussion will happen now in our system. It is not an easy one," the official said.
The fourth meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors is scheduled to take place in Marrakech, Morocco, on the sidelines of the 2023 annual meetings of World Bank and IMF from October 9-15.
The official said there are risks associated with cryptocurrencies as there are the same set of entities who act as depository and clearing systems, unlike that in the stock market.
"The purpose of regulation is that the risk is well managed. Any country which feels they have more risk can make their regulation more restrictive," the official said, adding if all countries agree on the same regulation there will be no arbitrage.
The IMF-FSB in its paper had said that its proposed regulation apply the principle of “same activity, same risk, same regulation”, establish a minimum baseline that jurisdictions should meet, and aim to address the set of issues common across majority of jurisdictions.