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The government is considering all options with an open mind when it comes to cryptocurrencies, and will make sure that the interests of investors are protected, Anurag Thakur, minister of state for finance, has said. The Union minister, however, raised concerns over the high volatility in digital assets.

The government is in the process of formulating a Bill on cryptocurrencies. While the contents of the Bill are not yet known, the Centre in February had said that the Bill would seek to ban all private cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether. However, in the recent past, it had hinted that it would take a "calibrated approach' towards digital assets.

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The government is very much open when it comes to digital currencies. The Reserve Bank is also working on India’s own digital currency and the government had also constituted an inter-ministerial committee, where secretaries had submitted a report," Thakur told a TV channel during an interview.

In March 2020, The Supreme Court overturned RBI’s decision to ban crypto transactions in the country. “In the new crypto Bill, all these aspects will be considered. All options are being considered with an open mind," the minister said.

However, Thakur raised concerns over the extreme volatility in cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and ethereum. “Fiat currencies don’t see such fluctuation. We will ensure that the interest of crypto investors is protected in the Bill. But we want to make it clear that we are in favour of technology," the Union minister said.

During the financial year 2021, bitcoin jumped 800% from $6,641 on 1 April 2020 to $58,817 on 31 March 2021. The digital asset was trading at $60,865.44, up 1.8% around 1.25pm IST today, according to CoinGecko.

Welcoming the statements, Sumit Gupta, co-founder and chief executive officer of crypto exchange CoinDCX, said: “We are confident that sensible and positive regulations are on their way. Today, the world has accepted the immense potential of crypto assets and blockchain technology and with heightened interest levels in India, the government will do immense service to Indians by bringing positive regulations in this sector."

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