Home >Markets >Cryptocurrency >Govt to decide on Committee’s recommendation on private cryptos: Anurag Thakur

Government will take a decision on the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on virtual currencies which suggested that all private crypto-currencies, except those issued by government should be prohibited in India, said Anurag Thakur, Minister of State, Finance Ministry while responding to questions by Priyanka Chaturvedi in Rajya Sabha.

A legislative proposal would be introduced in the Parliament after a due process, Thakur added.

Thakur also called attention to the budget speech of 2018-19, in which it was said that government does not consider crypto-currencies as legal tender and will take all measures to eliminate their use in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system. However, government will continue to explore use of blockchain technology on a proactive basis.

Thakur further pointed out that according to a 2018 Financial Stability Board (FSB), crypto-assets lack the key attributes of sovereign currencies and do not serve as a common means of payment, a stable store of value, or a mainstream unit of account.

This was said in response to a query by K.C. Ramamurthy on whether government has made any assessment on how crypto-currencies like Bitcoin impact regular currency of the country.

Responding to another query, this time by Parimal Nathwani, on the threats of private crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin on Indian economy, Thakur said, “RBI has cautioned users, holders and traders in virtual currencies (VC) including Bitcoins regarding various risks associated in dealing with such VCs through its public notices issued in December 2013, February 2017 and December 2017."

Thakur also added that RBI had issued a circular on April 6, 2018 advising all entities regulated by the RBI to not deal in VCs or provide services for facilitating any person or entity in dealing with or settling VCs.

In 2020, Supreme Court of India had revoked the RBI ban on crypto-currencies and ruled that the restriction by the central bank was disproportionate. The apex court was approached by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), which has crypto-currency exchanges among its members.

Even though finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had recently said that the government will take a calibrated approach to crypto trading, private crypto-currencies face an uncertain future and many in the industry believe that the government is likely to ban them in the current parliament session.

In January, the Crypto-currency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021 was listed in the Lok Sabha bulletin. The bill is likely to be discussed and passed in the current session.

RBI governor Shaktikanta Das recently said that India is working on its own official digital currency, which will be different from crypto-currencies.

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