September 12, 2023
By Anjali Kochhar
In a press conference held on the sidelines of the G20 summit, India’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, revealed that discussions surrounding the regulation or potential ban of cryptocurrencies will be determined collectively by G20 countries. She stated, “I don’t want to get into the debate just now whether crypto will be regulated or banned. The G20 will take a call on that.”
Sitharaman emphasised the collaborative efforts within the G20, noting that member countries have endorsed an agreement to enhance the World Bank’s financing capabilities. She also highlighted the significant attention given by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to crypto regulations and the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) focus on the macroeconomic impact of crypto assets.
The Finance Minister further disclosed that the G20 welcomed the IMF-FSB crypto synthesis paper, which outlines a roadmap for establishing a comprehensive policy and regulatory framework. She indicated that detailed deliberations on this synthesis paper would take place during future meetings under India’s presidency for the finance track, with the next meeting scheduled in Marrakesh.
The G20 discussion paper released on September 9 also confirmed leaders’ intent to explore the adoption of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). They expressed eagerness to examine potential macro-financial implications, particularly in cross-border payments and the broader international monetary and financial system. The G20 welcomed the insights from the BIS Innovation Hub Report on CBDCs and looked forward to the IMF’s report on the widespread adoption of CBDCs to further advance discussions on the issue.
The G20 Leaders’ Summit proved to be a pivotal moment in the global discourse on cryptocurrency regulations. Leaders from the world’s largest economies convened to deliberate and establish foundational principles for governing crypto assets. The Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) jointly authored a comprehensive roadmap, serving as a guiding document for participating nations in effectively regulating crypto assets, as revealed by a source with direct knowledge of the matter.
India, as the host nation, took a leading role in seeking consensus among G20 nations on crypto assets. The Indian government presented a meticulously prepared presidential note on cryptocurrency, encapsulating a summary of reports from both the IMF and FSB.
Commenting on this historic development, Shubham Gupta, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of a web3 startup STAN expressed, “It’s a momentous step to see the financial leaders at the G20 Summit working meticulously to create a roadmap for a global cryptocurrency regulation framework. As leading economies convened on Indian soil, the world observed with keen interest India’s vision, digital prowess, and commitment to transform the financial landscape. A cohesive global blueprint for crypto could usher in unparalleled clarity and stability, fostering improved macroeconomic conditions for all participant nations. Given the uncensorable and decentralised nature of cryptocurrencies, this initiative could serve as the catalyst propelling the world into a new era of financial innovation, inclusion, and collaboration.”
Edul Patel, CEO and co-founder of crypto investment platform Mudrex, echoed this sentiment, emphasising the global nature of cryptocurrencies and advocating for a cooperative approach to their effective regulation. He stressed the importance of progressive regulations that consider the perspectives and concerns of a diverse range of stakeholders.
Giottus Crypto Platform, one of the top 4 Indian-based crypto platforms with over 1 million users, also weighed in on the potential impact of the G20 Summit on the crypto industry.
CEO Vikram Subburaj emphasised the unique opportunity for India to lead international collaboration and action on crypto regulations. He stated, “Under India’s leadership, the G20 can work as a key platform that fosters international collaboration and action on crypto regulations. The G20 presidency is an opportunity for India to champion financial inclusion through crypto, leverage blockchain technology for governance, and showcase our commitment to a progressive and forward-thinking financial ecosystem. The G20 is a collective of eminent nations and there is no better forum where the future of VDAs can be shaped. The onus is on India and its thriving ecosystem to ensure that our concerns are represented and that we assert our position on creating a sector that thrives in a secure, transparent, and globally coordinated environment.”
Vice President Rajagopal Menon of WazirX expressed anticipation for a robust regulatory framework from the G20 Summit. He emphasised the need for agile and flexible regulations to keep pace with the rapidly evolving crypto industry, while also prioritising user protection and the global utility of blockchain technology.
Sharat Chandra, Co-Founder of the India Blockchain Forum, highlighted the shift in the narrative surrounding digital assets, moving from a previous stance of potential bans to a more constructive approach entered on regulation. Chandra emphasised the necessity for a globally unified framework for digital asset regulation to prevent regulatory arbitrage, given the borderless nature of the technology. He sees this global framework as a significant milestone emanating from India’s G20 presidency.
As anticipation built for the G20 Summit, industry experts and leaders closely observed for potential amendments or modifications that might shape the regulatory landscape of the crypto industry. The collaborative efforts of the G20 nations in establishing a global framework for crypto regulations could mark a historic leap forward in the integration of digital assets into the global financial ecosystem.
About the author
Anjali Kochhar covers cryptocurrency stories in India as well as globally. Having been in the field of media and journalism for over three years now, she has developed a sharp news sense and works hard to present information that goes beyond the obvious. She is an avid reader and loves writing on a wide range of subjects.