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India makes it mandatory for companies to declare cryptocurrency deals


India's ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) has introduced a new rule making it mandatory for all companies in the country to disclose any dealings in cryptocurrency or virtual currency in their balance sheets. This is a major step towards regulating crypto assets in India and is expected to bring in a lot of transparency in reporting or filing of crypto investments.

The companies have to disclose profit or loss on transactions involving cryptocurrency or virtual currency, the amount of holding, and details of deposits or advances from any person for the purpose of trading or investing in cryptocurrency or virtual currency, according to the latest amendments to the Schedule III of the Companies Act, 2013. This will be applicable from the upcoming financial year, the MCA notification states.

The notification comes at a time when the government plans to introduce a Bill in Parliament to ban private cryptocurrencies as there are fears that there is no transparency in these assets which carry the risk of money laundering and terror financing. Cryptocurrencies also fluctuate widely in value which can cause huge losses to holders in case of a sudden crash. The RBI has advised the government to ban cryptocurencies. However, the government is not averse to looking at the blockchain technology used in cryptocurrencies to examine if it can improve digital transactions in any way. 

There are estimated to be around 10 million individual crypto investors in India, but the number of companies having exposure to this cryptocurrencies is not known.

Globally, major companies such as Tesla and MicroStrategy have been holding big amounts of bitcoin on their balance sheets. However, the world’s most successful investor Warren Buffet,  Microsoft founder Bill Gates and many reputed economists advise against investment in cryptocurrencies as they have no intrinsic value as an asset and can crash any time.