Bitcoin “will not become legal” in India unless a suitable organization “monitors” it, a high-profile economist has forecast.
Speaking to local news outlet Economic Times, SP Sharma chief economist at the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Delhi, said that Bitcoin’s gray area status in the eyes of regulators was unlikely to change without a shift in practices.
“It’s fair to say that currently, the cryptocurrency is neither illegal nor legal in India,” he told the publication.
“Unless the cryptocurrency is properly and comprehensively regulated and monitored by a robust institution, I don’t see Bitcoin becoming a legal currency in India.”
The comments reiterate what has become business as usual for Bitcoin investors and businesses in India regarding cryptocurrency and the law.
While authorities and the central bank regularly produce warnings about the potential to incur losses, the country’s fledgling crypto economy has maintained no legal issues are preventing its use.
This year, the country’s government has pledged to create a regulatory framework for digital currency, but it remains unclear to what extent consumers will need to abide by identification procedures in order to stay above board.
As with many developing economies, investors in India have caught the ICO bug, with BitIndia’s planned sale for its exchange platform last week receiving support from John McAfee.
Nonetheless, Sharma foresees a pattern of Bitcoin price volatility continuing as a matter of course in future.
“[…] This drastic price rise was followed by severe volatility, which will be major challenge going forward,” he said in reference to Bitcoin’s four-fold increase since the beginning of 2017.
The economist did not elaborate on the “monitoring” measures required to bring about change, nor how such state-sponsored activities would work in practice.