‘Taxing crypto income should not be a major agenda’

Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, spoke about an incident that his firm had to deal with in India. Coinbase had to suspend it just days after it rolled out the UPI-based crypto-buying feature in the country, as the government refused to recognize it. Armstrong said that Coinbase faced “informal pressure” from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to withdraw the service. He has said that due to such confusion, foreign crypto players may delay their investments and engagement with Indian industry players in the coming times.

This observation was highlighted by Satwik Vishwanath, co-founder of Unocoin (Unocoin) crypto exchange, in a conversation with Gadgets 360. He is advocating fair policies for crypto players in the country. The Unocoin chief said that the Indian government should set its priorities around crypto.

He said that we have to look at crypto as an investment instrument. The decisions we take now can actually make or break the prospects of the future.

In recent times, conferences and events related to crypto have been organized in many areas of the world. These include other areas including Miami, Dubai, Croatia, Thailand and Mexico of America. It is a matter of disappointment that many Indian crypto players have not registered their presence on these global platforms. Vishwanath, who has represented India’s crypto community at some of these events, believes that it is only a matter of time before Indians do not attend these events.

Vishwanath has estimated that India’s strong economy may not keep investors away for long. He added that taxing income from cryptocurrencies should not be at the top of the agenda. Yes, it is necessary that the fast growing cryptocurrency sector contributes to the economy of India. But to establish itself as an industry, it is also necessary to create a stable ecosystem. India should not miss this opportunity, which is bringing a new industry like crypto to it. He said crypto is not bad and does not deserve to be taxed unnecessarily.

However, he feels that the country’s startup ecosystem is taking the crypto sector forward under good circumstances. Shocking results will be seen in the coming year. Vishwanath has ‘congratulated’ the Indian crypto players for raising capital and a huge customer base. According to data from industry tracker Tracxn, India has attracted 638 million crypto funding and blockchain investments in 2021.

Moving beyond crypto, Vishwanath advises the people and government of the country to improve the blockchain network and migrate towards a decentralized future. Launched in the year 2013, the valuation of Unocoin had exceeded $ 20 million (about Rs 155 crore) last year. However, regulatory laws shaping the country’s crypto sector are still awaited.

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