NEW DELHI: The domestic cryptocurrency industry has been urging the Center to reconsider its apparent plan to ban private cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, in India. Industry stakeholders said while the government’s intention to create a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is a welcome move, the definition of what the government considers “private cryptocurrencies” will be important.

The Indian government’s plan to “create a facilitative framework for creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI),” was announced in the agenda for the upcoming Budget session of Parliament. The legislation seeks “to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India”, the agenda said. It is meant to allow the use of blockchain technology, which is the underlying tech behind cryptocurrencies, but many expect that it will make the use of currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum illegal in the country.

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“The digital currency bill to be introduced in the Lok Sabha is a welcome step. Its success will depend on the details, particularly the definition of what the bill calls ‘private cryptocurrencies’. This is not a common term. Bitcoin is not privately owned by anyone. It is a public good, like the internet,” said Rahul Pagdipati, chief executive officer (CEO) of crypto exchange and wallet ZebPay.

Industry executives say the government’s concern is