Lawmakers in India have proposed a bill which would see Bitcoin and crypto ownership made completely illegal, with as much as a 10-year prison sentence for anyone caught holding.
This coincides directly with India’s plans to launch its own state-backed cryptocurrency – the Digital Rupee.
10 Year Jail Sentence for Bag Holders?
As per the Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, anyone involved in the Bitcoin or crypto ecosystem would face criminal punishment. The bill proposes a 10-year prison sentence for persons who “mine, generate, hold, sell, transfer, dispose, issue or deal in cryptocurrencies, directly or indirectly.”
Anyone caught committing such crimes would be subject to “non-bailable” sentences, according to the draft bill sourced by BloombergQuint. The Bill also states that the punishment will be made to fit the crime – with a person’s crypto profits used against them. As per the bill, courts will use the following 4 criteria when handing out sentences:
- “Culpability of the accused
- Actual and intended gain made, and loss caused
- Repetitive nature of offence
- Harm caused to the system.”
Even worse – any potential fines levied by the courts would be three times as much as the profit the individual made in the first place. From BloombergQuint:
“The penalty imposed on the accused, according to the bill, shall be either thrice the loss caused to the system, or three-fold the gains made by him/her, whichever is higher. If the loss or gain can’t be reasonably determined, the maximum fine that can be imposed may be notified by the government.”