crypto: India moving away from crypto ban not towards it : Ajeet Khurana

“No one in crypto has really asked for crypto to become legal tender. It’s very interesting that regulators are talking about it, but the crypto people aren’t even making such a demand. What’s happening with the coming of the MICA in the European Union just two weeks ago is that there is greater regulatory acceptance, coming from clarity,” says Ajeet Khuranabitcoin specialist, reflex.

The crypto industry goes through many streams. The Association for Crypto Assets was disbanded recently; we don’t know if there will be a new one. A large number of political decisions are beginning to have an impact on trading volumes. Do you think what the Finance Minister said yesterday in Parliament makes it clear that a ban is still on the table if there is a global consensus?

I think if there is a global consensus, it could be banned. Technology cannot be banned, but regulation could lead to bans. But that seems like an impossibility because in most open economies there is a more conducive environment and so banning is not considered in other countries. In fact, the clarity that has emerged is that India will not take a unilateral position and so we are moving away from the ban and not towards it

What is the impact because the Indian government has made it clear that the RBI wants the crypto ban and they are not rushing. This allowed the whole ecosystem to thrive after the budget. But this 30% tax is decreasing. What is the current status?
If we ignore the price movement in the market and just focus on the regulatory aspect, the current situation looks a bit grim, mainly because the government is in no mood to give up anytime soon. The right direction here would be for the government to ask everyone here – stock exchanges as well as investors – to disclose their activity in some form of tax filing.

Going forward, what is the state of affairs regarding these crypto exchanges? The big factor has also been a global crash in crypto prices. Are we seeing more investors trying to get out and less getting in?
We seem to be moving sideways over the past month and a half. About two months ago there was a huge crash. The world’s largest crypto player, Coinbase, has fallen to about a quarter of its market capitalization. Currently, we see that exchanges that were growing very quickly are seeing about a 90% reduction in revenue. They’re going to have to start cutting corners and that doesn’t look good to me.

We are already seeing some impact from the savings. Do you think a lot of these businesses might not last in the future?
If they are pure exchange businesses, even with small volumes, they may be able to survive even extended periods such as two or three years. However, several of these exchanges have started to engage in secondary activities such as borrowing, lending. The bad news we hear from Vauld and Celsius and everything else all comes from their borrowing and lending operations. These are not directed to a good time.

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The future of crypto still has a sword hanging over it, but the finance minister talks about a global consensus. Now, it is far from being found today than it was a year or two ago. What does this mean concretely?
In real terms, it looks like a nice fig leaf that allows the government not to take adverse action pretending it was ready for it, but the world wasn’t ready for it. Therefore, we would prefer to go where the whole world goes, which is also my recommendation.

Where is the whole world going right now? Everyone is off crypto. It seems new nations are not rushing to accept payment in cryptos. The fundamental question of what the underlying asset is continues. So really no clarity around the world?
Nobody in crypto really demanded that crypto become legal tender. It’s very interesting that regulators are talking about this, but the crypto folks don’t even make such a claim. What is happening with the arrival of MICA in the European Union just two weeks ago is that there is greater regulatory acceptance, coming from clarity. Regulations, other than favorable or unfavorable, must be clear and this is happening all over the world.

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