Will the G20 Summit Unlock Crypto for 1.4 Billion Indians?
As India prepares to host the G20 summit in September, crypto regulation is a hot topic.
While the event won’t be the first time world leaders have discussed crypto regulation, the past year has seen the conversation evolve significantly.
Crypto Regulation Still a Hot Topic
Since the last G20 summit in July 2022, a number of countries have moved to regulate the crypto sector. The EU has passed its landmark MiCA regulation. The UK has turned its attention to the space.
And the United States Congress has taken an increasingly proactive stance in shaping the country’s crypto regulation.
Meanwhile, from Nigeria to Hong Kong and from South Africa to the Bahamas, lawmakers have used the past year to ramp up oversight of crypto firms.
India Uses G20 Presidency to Push for Alignment on Crypto Regulation
With the United Nations now estimating that India is home to the world’s largest population, the country has an opportunity to lead the conversation.
Already,the government is in the midst of introducing dedicated legislation in the form of the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill. Additionally, in its 2022 budget, India’s lower house brought digital assets including cryptocurrencies and NFTs within its tax regime.
However, the government has recognized that effective tax and regulation will require international agreement.
In comments made to parliament last year, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary observed that Crypto assets are innately borderless. As such, he argued that any legislation can only be effective with international collaboration. To that end, he called for a “common taxonomy and standards.”
Chaudhary’s statements point to a growing consensus among politicians that crypto regulations shouldn’t be written in national silos. If they are to align with existing international trade agreements, a common language and set of definitions is needed.
To that end, earlier this month, India’s finance minister revealed that the government is pushing to create a global policy approach toward crypto.
He also noted that under India’s G20 presidency this year, several discussions have been scheduled to take place on the topic.
How Cryptocurrency Can Foster Financial Inclusion in India?
A successful G20 Summit could encourage member countries to commit to just greater regulatory alignment. By harmonizing their approaches, G20 nations would enable closer collaboration on tackling money laundering.
At the same time, clear guidelines for international businesses could be a boon for innovation and adoption.
Moreover, bank account ownership rates remain low in India and many people are underserved by the traditional financial sector.
As such, crypto products can empower the financially excluded. And with the growth of digital infrastructure in the country, crypto finance offers an effective way to serve these populations.
Crypto, alternative payment, and savings products can fulfill many of the functions of bank accounts and payment cards. But whereas these can be difficult to obtain, receiving and sending cryptocurrency only requires a functioning crypto address.
Already, India has some of the highest crypto adoption rates among the G20 nations. In fact, one survey found that 8% of respondents in the country reported owning Bitcoin (BTC). Meanwhile, Chainalysis’ 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index ranked India fourth in the world.
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