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India’s Finance Minister Holds Meeting to Discuss Bitcoin ‘Risks’

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:57 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:57 PM

India’s finance minister has an inter-ministerial meeting today to examine risks related to virtual currencies like bitcoin.

According to local reports , India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley convened an inter-ministerial meeting to discuss risks related to virtual currencies. The meeting was attended by several prominent decision makers including India’s IT minister, economic affairs minister, the financial services secretary and other senior officials.

First reported by the Press Trust of India (PTI), a non-profit news cooperative, the finance minister discussed ‘several concerns’ related to bitcoin. Details remain scarce and there’s no word on what these ‘concerns’ are. However, no decisions related to digital currencies were taken, according to a PTI source.

In March, the Indian finance ministry formed an inter-governmental committee to research and propose a framework for the future of virtual currencies in the country. The committee has taken cues from existing regulatory and legal structures toward digital currencies from countries like Japan and the United States. Toward the end of May, the government established a public forum to invite citizen comments on virtual currencies. An overwhelming majority called for the legalization of digital currencies in the country.

The last official statement by the government, via India’s central bank, called for caution when using digital currencies, adding that any companies dealing with ‘Bitcoin or any virtual currency’ weren’t licensed or authorized to do so.

Last week, an official from the Ministry of Finance was quoted as stating:

We have had five meetings and have consulted all ministries, public, stakeholders (bitcoin exchanges). We will submit the report by July-end.

Despite calls by politicians against the legalization of cryptocurrencies, a televised report by CNBC India has claimed that bitcoin is set to gain legality in India. The government is also reportedly looking to tax bitcoin adopters that will inevitably see laws and regulations enacted in the future.

Featured image from IIF /YouTube.