Indian Finance Minister says: ‘Bitcoin is still not a legal currency’
December 2, 2017 10:17 am
Indian Finance Minister Arjun Jaitley has described that the government of India is yet to recognize Bitcoin as a legal tender in the country as of late November 2017. He pointed out that the recommendations regarding the possible legalization of the Bitcoin and other Virtual Currencies across India are yet to be worked by the government.
In an interview with the Economic Times, Jaitley said that he has already informed the Indian parliament that the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), have to issue any licenses to operate with the digital currencies within its jurisdiction. He further stated that the government is still accessing the recommendations to regulate the virtual currencies.
“Recommendations are being worked at. The government’s position is clear, we don’t recognize this as legal currency as of now.”
Efforts to control cryptocurrencies in India
The Indian government has been working to control the use of virtual currencies in the country from last few months.
In April 2017, the government established an interdisciplinary committee to evaluate the possible drafting of the regulations covering the digital currencies. The committee is created by several governments agencies including the RBI, the Department of Financial Services and the Ministry of the Revenue.
In October 2017, anyhow, the Indian Supreme Court issued a notice to theRBI and other related agencies by asking them to give the answer to the petition filed on the cryptocurrency regulation issues. The original appeal described understanding regarding the possible use of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies in untraceable cross-border transactions, making them as an attractive tool for cybercriminals and tax evaders.
The part of appeal read:
“The lack of any concrete [control] mechanism pending the regulatory framework in said regard has left a lot of vacuum and which has resulted in total unaccountability and unregulated Bitcoin trading and transactions.”