The Ministry of Finance has issued a notification dated March 07, 2023 (“Notification”), classifying entities that engage in specific activities (see below) related to Virtual Digital Assets (“VDA(s)”) in the course of business, as “persons carrying on designated business or profession” Therefore, such entities are now considered “Reporting Entities” under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and the corresponding rules (“PMLA”).
Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Industry: A Case for Regulation Through Blockchain
Since the inception of the ‘world wide web’, no other technology in the digital space has caught the attention of the world quite like ‘blockchain’. It has the potential to be a gamechanger with its promise of unmatched data security. Even though the implementation/ application of blockchain’s much-coveted underlying technology into various other industries has been a very recent phenomenon, the learned are already prophesising about its ability to shepherd us into a completely new way of network interactions and data storage. This future reality has been nick-named ‘Web3’.…
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FIG Papers (No. 11: Series-1) Into the Metaverse: Legal and regulatory considerations in India
The metaverse and its use-cases
There are many ways to describe the ‘metaverse’: a post-reality universe that allows several users to participate in a shared virtual environment, an immersive 3-D extension of the internet itself, or even as the next frontier of the digital economy. In due course, the metaverse may align itself with its initial usage, as described in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash, as a vast digital environment where users could interact with each other. While the Metaverse may escape the contours of a universally accepted definition (for some time at least), it will, by present trends, continue to capture popular culture, imagination and increasingly, various aspects of life. As early as 2005, the metaverse had begun to be considered as something more than simply being centered around MMORPGs (or massively multiplayer online role-playing games). Today, the Indian market already bears witness to the proliferation of augmented reality, virtual reality, and elements of the ‘metaverse’ across several B2B, B2C and C2C applications. Indian tech firms and start-ups have been quick to respond.…
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Into the Web: AML Risks of Virtual Assets? – Part II
Part I of this article explores the current Indian regulatory and legal framework governing the virtual asset industry and recommendations for AML/CFT compliance in respect of virtual asssets.
Indian legal framework
The virtual asset industry has had a somewhat difficult time in India, with the RBI banning any regulated entities from providing services to any individual or business, dealing in digital currencies, given the risks involved in such transactions. The term ‘services’ included maintaining accounts, registering, trading, settling, clearing, giving loans against virtual tokens, accepting them as collateral, opening accounts of exchanges, dealing with them and transferring or receipt of money in accounts relating to purchase/ sale of VCs or facilitating the same thereof.
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Into the Web: AML Risks of Virtual Assets? – Part I
Nothing is permanent but change.
Part I of this article explores the anti-money laundering risks associated with virtual assets and provides a glance at the current international regulatory and legal framework governing the virtual asset industry.
Technology has evolved to a point where we have to redefine what we assume would be easy to legally categorise. The evolution of virtual assets is such an example — with a dynamic categorisation of virtual assets, as also securities such as NFTs (a Non-Fungible Token, which is a unit of data stored on a digital ledger called a blockchain, that certifies a digital asset to be unique and therefore not interchangeable. Examples include: photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files) and DeFi (Decentralised Finance is a blockchain-based form of finance that does not rely on central financial intermediaries such as brokerages, exchanges, or banks to offer traditional financial instruments, and instead utilises smart contracts on blockchains, example: Ethereum).
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