Public outcry gets louder than ever as India’s 30% ‘crypto tax’ comes into effect

While people all over the world are playing April Fools’ Day pranks on each other, countless Indian crypto investors and entrepreneurs are hoping that the Indian government will pull one of them out. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case as the Indian tax on cryptos went into effect on April 1, triggering a storm of passionate emotions.

NO mast, crypto tax

A 30% tax on income from the transfer of cryptocurrencies was controversial when it was first announced. Now, with formal enforcement, Indian crypto traders and entrepreneurs took to social media to campaign for change.

The founder of the Indian exchange WazirX, owned by Binance, Nischal Shetty, maintained his trademark diplomacy and expressed his disbelief over the new tax law. Still, Shetty stopped criticizing the Indian government.

Meanwhile, Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal abstained from harsh criticism but retweeted an Indian politician who spoke out against the stifling of crypto development in India.

With a lot to lose, it makes sense for India’s crypto heavyweights to play it safe.

An Indian implosion

That said, it’s not just India’s crypto community that is concerned. Priyanka Chaturvedi, an Indian Member of Parliament, expressed her opinion to the point. The politician warned that unless the government made an effort to understand crypto and its “job-generation capacity”, Indian technologists and entrepreneurs would instead head to the US and Europe to lead tech companies in those regions.

Sobering words for sure. However, they came around the time Pankaj Chaudhary, India’s finance minister, announced that 11 cryptocurrency exchanges – including WazirX’s Zanmai Labs – were under investigation for alleged tax evasion estimated to be worth more than $10 million.

However, it remains to be seen how the government will ensure compliance by everyday traders.

As you can guess, crypto has quite the image problem in India. Outside of exchanges, crypto traders are angry that their winnings are taxed like those of gambling winnings.

Aditya Singh, the creator of a petition to lower the crypto tax — which went viral — commented on the stereotype. To emphasize his point, he greeted his Twitter audience with a casual “Hello Gamblers” on the 1st of April.

It wasn’t a joke.

In addition, at the time of going to press, more than 103,055 people had signed Singh’s petition.

Bitcoin: Bloodshed or Ahimsa?

On April 1, Bitcoin fell back below $45,000 after a strong rally that briefly took it above $47,000.

However, close to press time, the flagship coin had run out again $45,488.97. Bitcoin investors in fundamental analysis, or even headlines, will likely keep a close eye on Indian sentiments to predict the movements of the global crypto economy.

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