One of Shark Tank India’s breakout stars, Shaadi.com founder and CEO Anupam Mittal has developed a reputation for his calm, collected persona and razor-sharp business acumen across the show’s incredibly popular premiere season run.

 

With the Union Budget 2022 releasing just as we inched towards the season finale, we caught up with the inquisitive entrepreneur to hear his thoughts on the game-changing introduction of crypto assets into India’s economic fold. Here are the big highlights, along with a brief explainer:

‘Still Not Clear’

Mittal starts off by asking, “I think it’s still not clear, right?”

“They said that they would tax it like you would tax gambling money, which means you’ll be taxed at 30 percent. You will not be able to offset any losses against other income, which is kind of how they gamble, how they tax gambling, online poker, and so on and so forth. While they’ve said that they haven’t really completely been clear about whether they are recognizing crypto as an asset or they’re talking about digital assets.”

What Mittal is referring to here is the vagueness of how the government exactly views the crypto-verse. In the official government document summarizing the ‘Budget Highlights’, the only line that refers to crypto reads as follows:

“Income from transfer of virtual assets to be taxed at 30 percent.”

It remains to be seen if this refers to simply digital assets such as NFTs, or fungible tokens as well— cryptocurrencies to be specific. While cryptocurrencies are technically virtual assets, a single line fails to address the concerns of the +15 million Indians who currently hold crypto assets.

‘A Good Move’

While Mittal espouses the need to wait and watch, he does think that the government has made the right decision, at least with respect to current global attitudes on cryptocurrency legislation.

“I think that part is still a little bit opaque, but I think this is a good move,” shares Mittal. “Until crypto remains as speculative as it is, I think taxing it like a speculative asset is not a bad move. I think it’s far better than banning it all together.”

This is of particular importance for anyone following regional geopolitics, especially considering China’s huge announcement back in 2021, which outlawed mining and trading crypto within the state. By taxing yet retaining crypto legality, India allows itself to stay invested in blockchain technology while holding the reins in.

“Nobody knows for sure,” remarks Mittal.

‘We Won’t Be Left Behind’

“Anybody who says they have a crystal ball and they can tell you what’s going to happen to crypto in the next ten years is either a fool or a conman,” warns Mittal.

“Everybody has a thesis and [personal] views, but nobody knows. And so, I think by taxing it high but not banning it, I think it’s a very wise move because at the very least we will have crypto talent and crypto products and platforms and services built in India or with talent from India.”

This is a particularly poignant point to make—considering major Indian companies such as TCS, Tata Motors, and Reliance Industries have acquired blockchain technology companies and invested in equity and research for crypto applications.

“This will ensure that if [crypto] is going to revolutionize the world like a lot of people say it will, then we won’t be left behind. Maybe crypto could become an incentive sort of tool as opposed to a currency, an incentive that can be converted into a Fiat currency.”

 

(Featured Image Credits: Sony Pictures Networks, EPA)