0

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

Cryptocurrencies and especially Bitcoin seem to freak most governments out because they reduces the state’s control of money, India could be setting a new global precedent.

 

Love the Exponential Future? Join our XPotential Community, future proof yourself with courses from XPotential Universityconnect, watch a keynote, or browse my blog.

Governments everywhere are starting to get edgy, neigh freaked out, about the fact that new technologies and an increasingly digital and connected world mean that for the first time in human history companies are, arguably, more powerful than they are. Prime examples of this trend include the emergence of so called virtual nations, the launch of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency which, according to most central banks would have “ended state control of money,” and their undeniable influence on everything from democracy to the transformation of entire industries.

 

RELATED
Researchers prove your smart watch can flag when you're getting ill

 

Now, trying to address another challenge to the state’s authority, namely blockchain and bitcoin, which both allow consumers to bypass traditional controls in new ways, India’s government has announced that it plans to introduce a bill in the country’s lower house that would ban private cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and, like the EU just announced, let the country create a national cryptocurrency.

The so called “Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill” moves “to create a facilitative framework for creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India.”

 

RELATED
The web is broken so it’s founder is re-inventing it

 

Additionally, “the bill also seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.”

Fronted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the right-wing Bhartiya Janata Party currently have control of India’s two houses of Parliament, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, giving the legislation a strong possibility of passing.

Bitcoin’s value jumped more than 20 percent to $48,566 on Friday after Elon Musk changed his personal Twitter bio to #bitcoin.

 

RELATED
Dubai announces plans to put the entire Emirate onto the blockchain

 

This is not the first time Indian lawmakers have taken such a strong position on cryptocurrencies. In 2018, an Indian government panel recommended banning all private cryptocurrencies and proposed up to 10 years of jail time for offenders.

That same year, India’s then-finance minister Arun Jaitley said: “The government does not recognize cryptocurrency as legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system.”

India’s monetary policy regulator temporarily banned crypto transactions after a string of fraudulent activity in 2018, but the policy was later overturned by India’s Supreme Court in March 2020.

 

RELATED
Amazon and Google "set to disrupt the loans industry"

 

Many countries, including the US, China, Japan, Canada, Venezuela, Estonia, Sweden and Uruguay — have explored developing digital currencies of their own. However, there are significant differences between national digital currencies and private cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are decentralized, while national digital currencies are typically centralized.

With a GDP of nearly $2.9 trillion, India is the world’s fifth-largest economy, ahead of the United Kingdom, France and Italy, according to The World Bank.

And while foreign investment decreased overall in 2020, India was one of the only major economies in the world to record an increase. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development estimates that foreign direct investment in India jumped 13 percent in 2020 compared to 2019.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *