India’s chief security regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) warned mutual funds against investing in crypto assets until clear regulations come out.

In a press conference, the chairman of the SEBI group Ajay Tyagi addressed the issue and said it won’t be an ideal situation for mutual funds to invest public money in crypto without the government’s regulatory framework. Mutual funds are one of the most popular forms of investment for the majority of the Indian household thus if domestic mutual funds seek NFO (new fund offer) approval from the regulator, they must avoid crypto investments.

Crypto investments are not illegal in India, despite no regulations put in place yet, people and firms can invest and trade crypto assets. However, SEBI belive with no clarity on tax brackets and no clear indication from the government, it’s best to avoid for companies to offer crypto-themed investment options.

Invesco Mutual Fund became the first asset management company in India to get SEBI’s approval to offer a blockchain fund called Invesco CoinShares Global Blockchain ETF Fund of Fund (FoF). The fund offered exposure to global crypto and blockchain companies, however, its launch was delayed even after the approval due to regulatory uncertainty.

Indian central bank adamant on a ban

The much-anticipated cryptocurrency bill failed to make it to the Indian parliament’s winter session despite it being listed as one of the agendas before the start of the session. This was the second incident in 2021 where the cryptocurrency bill didn’t find a place for discussion. However, the Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharman had said that the government won’t take a blanket approach.

Despite assurance from the Indian finance minister and many insiders hinting at a positive regulatory approach, the Indian Central Bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) remains adamant on a blanket ban. However, according to insiders, the regulators have made it clear that it’s “too late” for a complete ban.

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