India becomes the first country in the world to ban the production, distribution, marketing and possession of cryptocurrencies.


According to Reuters, the Indian government is expected to easily pass a bill in parliament that would ban any kind of contact of the country’s citizens with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.


It is estimated that there are 8 million holders of cryptocurrencies in the country with a total value of $1.4 billion. The bill gives digital currency holders six months to liquidate them, while those who do not comply are expected to face particularly high fines. It is also possible that they will face prison sentences, as a government committee that had drafted relevant proposals in 2019 had even suggested sentencing those who possess cryptocurrencies to ten years in prison.


India is the first country in the world to take such a tough stance on cryptocurrencies. China bans “mining” and selling cryptocurrencies, but not possession.