Tesla to navigate an impending Bitcoin ban as it expands operations into India

Onov3056, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Tesla may need to navigate around an impending ban on private cryptocurrencies in India as it plans to expand its operations in the South Asian country. India’s Parliament is considering a bill that will prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in the country, an initiative that has been dubbed the Bitcoin ban.

The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 intends to ban all private cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin. However, not all cryptocurrencies will be banned. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will set up the framework and issue an official digital currency in the country.

India seems to be adopting the same model for cryptocurrencies as China, where its central bank is progressing with a digital currency of its own, reported Coin Telegraph.

Documents have hinted that Tesla plans to build a manufacturing facility in India. Local reports suggest that Tesla’s next production plant could be in either Maharashtra or Karnataka. The EV automaker also acquired $1.5 billion Bitcoin in January with the intent to accept the cryptocurrency as a payment option in the future. 

Tesla’s Bitcoin plans, particularly its efforts to offer the cryptocurrency as a payment option, may conflict with India’s impending ban. India’s Bitcoin ban would criminalize the possession, issuance, mining, trading, and transferring of crypto-assets, a senior government official told Reuters. Tesla still offers several other payment options, such as Apple Pay, though. If Tesla wanted to give its customers the same cryptocurrency payment option in India, it might have to invest in the country’s planned official digital currency.

Maria Merano: Veteran writer and editor, who believes harmony between tech and nature is achievable. We just need to learn to compromise.
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