India to curb crypto currency use

‘Crypto currencies are not legal tender and the government discourages its use,’ says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

New Delhi: In an effort to curb the proliferation of crypto currencies like Bitcoin in India, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the government will eliminate virtual currencies’ usage for illegitimate financing.


“Crypto currencies are not legal tender and the government discourages its use. However, the government will look at the utilisation of Blockchain (a distributed digital technology that supports crypto currencies),” Jaitley said in his Budget speech in Parliament.

Jaitley has repeatedly said that such digital currencies were not legal tender and people dealing in them would not get any legal protection. 

However, industry experts urged him to regulate, not curb, them.

“Crypto currencies are no legal tender and the government discourages its use. However, the government will look at the utilisation of Blockchain (a distributed digital technology that supports crypto currencies),” Jaitley said in his Budget speech in Parliament.

Bipin Preet Singh, Co-founder of e-wallet MobiKwik, reacted that “the government should consider regulating crypto currencies than curbing their use entirely”.

Neither the government nor the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has authorised any virtual currency as a medium of exchange till date but the momentum for such virtual currencies is catching up rapidly in India like other countries.

“The announcement on the crypto currency should not be misinterpreted. The intention is more likely to regulate the circulation to avoid its usage for illegal transactions,” noted Rashmi Deshpande, Associate Partner, Khaitan & Co, a leading law firm.

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