India to tax cryptocurrencies at 30%, places digital assets in the highest tax bracket

india to tax cryptocurrencies at 30

India to impose a tax of 30% on income from cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, India’s finance minister NirmalaSitharaman said while presenting the National Budget on Tuesday.

Apart from placing earnings from non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies in India’s highest tax band, the finance minister also said losses from their sale could not be offset against other income, providing another disincentive to trading and investment in digital assets.

Industry estimates suggest there are between 15 million to 20 million crypto investors in India, with estimated total crypto holdings of around 400 billion rupees ($5.37 billion). There is a lack of official data available on the size of the Indian crypto market.

The words cryptocurrency or crypto were not used in the budget speech. However, the finance minister, NirmalaSitharaman, used the phrase ‘virtual digital asset,’ which the crypto industry interprets as a term for non-fungible tokens and cryptocurrencies. The naming and the steps taken are not explicit legalizations of crypto, but industry experts view this as a step towards legitimization.

The finance minister also announced that the Reserve Bank of India would introduce a digital currency in the next financial year based on blockchain technology and other supporting technology.