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BW Businessworld

A Post-Pandemic Outlook On Cryptocurrencies In India

The government along with the regulatory authorities must formulate a regulatory mechanism that helps define the scope of cryptocurrencies.

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2008 was a crucial year for the 21st century which saw the outbreak of the Great Financial Crisis all over the world and the inception of new phase by creation of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin, the first ever cryptocurrency. What became increasingly evident was the loss of faith in conventional financial institutions which necessitated the need for decentralised alternative currencies. A similar situation was witnessed in a post COVID-19 world, where the need to adopt a decentralised alternative cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is imminent and increasing day by day due to its advanced connectivity and transparency in our daily exchanges and supply chains.

It stands to reason that cryptocurrency proved resilient against global pandemic because citizens were looking for instant and reliable alternative methods to access and share resources. Moreover, the world has now actively shifted to a tech-first strategy in all sectors, be it education, finance, industrial production or healthcare which can be facilitated using digital currencies and blockchain technology. Furthermore, blockchain technology can be deployed to ship medicines to COVID stricken regions and also to track COVID-19 testing and vaccinations in the near future.

The expansive growth of cryptocurrencies in the past few years have made it ubiquitous, urging authorities across the world to strengthen regulatory mechanisms for cryptocurrencies. Being a Foundation seated in the canton of Zug, Switzerland, also known as the crypto-valley, the importance of being in an environment that is economically, politically and technologically favourable for the development of blockchain and crypto-based startups is vital for our business deployment. While authorities in Switzerland have already regularised the use of cryptocurrencies by even accepting taxes in either bitcoin or ether, India stands miles away from seizing this opportune moment of leveraging the financial potential of cryptocurrencies.

The government along with the regulatory authorities must formulate a regulatory mechanism that helps define the scope of cryptocurrencies. One of the predominant issues existing (especially in India) in this regard is the mistrust and vagueness shrouding the cryptocurrency industry. Thereby, defining what a cryptocurrency is and incorporating a concise taxation mechanism will help build trust and belief in the system. Along with this, the regulatory mechanism should also include a monitoring system that will supervise their daily operations.

As the world marches towards a crypto-friendly system, the only way forward would be to adapt to these potentially essential technologies in our new reality. Since India has the highest turnaround of foreign remittances in the world, deploying the technology to its nearly $80 B market is a viable opportunity to boost the Indian Economy. As digital payments are bound to increase in the future, leveraging cryptocurrency as a cross-border payment mechanism would make these payments faster and more affordable. While several countries like the US have gained from internet companies, India too can stand to gain from it’s up and coming cryptocurrency exchanges especially if it wants to rebuild its economy post COVID-19. With this, the future of crytocurrency is bright however, adaption of a revolutionary technology is always ; maybe one day we will be able to buy a cup of coffee with cryptocurrency!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Apoorva Bose

The author is Human Rights Lawyer, Geneva, Switzerland, Actor, Singer, Dancer and of Counsel - Trust Legal

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Atma Dinnie Charles

Project Division, Bosagora Foundation

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