Indian cryptocurrency firms form self-regulatory industry body

June 8, 2021

Indian cryptocurrency firms have formed a self-regulatory body amidst the lack of clarity around government regulations.

India’s leading crypto exchanges WazirX, ZebPay, Unocoin, CoinDCX, and CoinSwitch Kuber, have joined hands with India’s Internet and Mobile Association (IAMAI), according to Press Trust of India (PTI).

The goal is to create a new board under the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC), a part of IAMAI. This board shall be responsible for overviewing compliance for crypto exchanges with the set self-regulatory guidelines.

The industry body already represents all major mobile and internet service providers, ranging from software makers like Adobe to streaming sites like Netflix.

The formal board shall consist of eminent jurists, technical specialists, and fintech compliance specialists who’ll oversee the application of a self-regulatory code. BACC has asked the government to implement regulations for crypto assets through the parliament, but it’s on its own until that happens.

The self-regulatory code, which is already in place, focuses on AML (Anti-Money Laundering), CFT (Combating the Financing of Terrorism), PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act), and FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act). The board will also liaison between the RBI and crypto exchanges to report suspicious transactions or anomalies

“The IAMAI-BACC believes that such checks are necessary and must be carried out. On its part, the crypto exchange members of the association have set up a self-regulatory code of conduct for its members. Parallelly, IAMAI has also suggested that the government should regulate crypto assets through an act of parliament,” it said.

According to Nischal Shetty, CEO of WazirX, there are close to 1.5 crore crypto investors in India, with more than 15,000 crores in total investments. It isn’t the first time IAMAI has opted for self-regulation since it also looks after OTT (over the top) content moderation and censorship. These include a modified grievance redressal mechanism, eliminating a stifling ‘prohibited content’ list, and penalties for violating the code.

The industry body also welcomed the Reserve Bank of India’s advice to banks against using its 2018 circular that called for the non-acceptance of cryptocurrency transactions of customers. It’s much needed good news for the crypto community, which has keenly observed the government’s stance.

Copyright © 2021 Press Trust of India

Published online here.

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