‘Bitcoin will not be accepted as Currency’: Finance Minister

New Delhi : Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said that the government has no proposal to recognize Bitcoin as a currency in the country. In a reply to a question asked on Bitcoin in Parliament, the minister informed the House that the government does not collect data on Bitcoin transactions, According to PTI.

When asked whether the government has any proposal to recognize Bitcoin as a currency in the country, the minister replied,“No, sir.”

Meanwhile, the Centre plans to introduce the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021 in the ongoing winter session of Parliament. The Bill seeks to ban all but a few private cryptocurrencies to promote underlying technologies while allowing an official digital currency by the RBI.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had chaired a high-level meeting on cryptocurrencies with officials from the RBI, finance ministry, and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). India’s next step to regulate cryptocurrencies will “be proactive, progressive and forward-looking” as (crypto) is an evolving technology. The parliamentary standing committee on finance has met with crypto industry representatives, stakeholders and experts.

On cryptocurrency, Prime Minister Modi has recently said at the Sydney Dialogue, “It is important that all democratic nations work on this (cryptocurrency) and ensure that it does not end up in the wrong hands, which can spoil our youth.”

India has the highest number of cryptocurrency holders in the world at 10.07 crore, according to broker discovery and comparison platform Broker Chooser. With 2.74 crore crypto-owners US came at the second position followed by Russia (1.74 crore) and Nigeria (1.30 crore).

It was introduced in 2008 by an unidentified group of programmers as a cryptocurrency as well as an electronic payment system. It is reportedly the first decentralised digital currency where peer-to-peer transactions take place without any intermediary.

The proposal for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) backed by the Reserve Bank of India may be included in the upcoming bill to regulate cryptocurrency, according to reports.

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