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India Launching Crypto Crackdown? Firms, Big-Time Users in Crosshairs

In India, cryptocurrency investors, start-ups, and mining operations are finding their inter-related activities increasingly difficult as Indian regulators continue to tighten regulatory nooses around cryptocurrency use in the nation.

The domestic standoff reached a fever pitch a few days ago as Indian tax authorities with the Income Tax Department of India (ITDI) raided cryptocurrency exchange operators across the nation.

The newest development, then, is that ITDI officials are now pouring through the seized records and, per an agency spokesperson, will now be probing the compromised users “under tax evasion charges. Notices are being issued and they will have to pay capital gains tax on the bitcoin investments and trade.”

This news comes on the heels of the Indian government’s fresh ban on cryptocurrency mining hardware imports into the nation, which left many domestic miners in limbo with rig shipments blocked mid-trip.

CryptoAnalyst reached out to Indian cryptocurrency journalist Akshay Makadiya to see how things were “on the ground,” as it were.

Makadiya noted that the local market situation was tense, with the domestic bitcoin price sliding down from “$22,150 USD (₹1,420,000) yesterday to $20,400 (₹1,307,900) today.” He also said rumors were circulating that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had issued a mandate for all Indian banks to begin monitoring crypto-related accounts.

To this end, it looks like a comprehensive crackdown on crypto use in India may be only just beginning, much to the detriment of innocent, everyday Indian investors and entrepreneurs.

India’s government has accordingly forced the nation to the extreme end of the spectrum when it comes to regulating cryptocurrencies.

Indeed, the country is seemingly entering what Bitcoin scholar Andreas Antonopoulos refers to as the “panic stage” of coming to terms with Bitcoin.

And that panic is now being forced upon innocent Bitcoiners.

TLDR: It’s the hard-knock life for Indian cryptocurrency investors and companies as regulators in India take an increasingly non-lenient approach to the crypto space. 

William M. Peaster is a cryptocurrency journalist and copy-editor based out of El Paso, Texas. He's an avid fan of Ethereum, ERC-20 tokens, and smart contracts in general.

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