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Crypto may be allowed as asset, not as currency; legislation being finalized

The government is unlikely to shut the door on cryptocurrencies and instead take a nuanced approach. They may not be permitted as currency to settle transactions and make payments but could be held as an asset like shares, gold or bonds. Active solicitation by companies including exchanges and platforms would be barred, people with knowledge of the matter told ET.

The government is finalising legislation that will pave the way for regulation of crypto asset trading while barring the use of virtual currencies for payments and transactions. "Active solicitation would not be permitted... Details of the bill are being finalised," a government source said.

SEBI could be designated as the regulator, although a final call is yet to be taken. The government is looking to introduce the bill in the upcoming winter session of Parliament. ET had on November 8 reported that the government is likely to take the middle path on cryptocurrencies and not opt for an outright ban.

The parliamentary standing committee on finance that met crypto industry representatives on Monday also seemed to favour regulation and not a complete ban, the stand espoused by industry representatives.

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