Centre mulls Bitcoins norms

The Asian Age.

Business, Economy

Bitcoins are first currency of choice in underground activities as they are practically untraceable.

The prevalence of Bitcoins has caused some concerns in government due to its hidden nature.

New Delhi: A week after hackers behind biggest cyber attack WannaCry demanded ransom in bitcoins, Centre has asked public wether such virtual currencies should be regulated or banned. Currently there is no regulation on such currencies in India.

Bitcoins are first currency of choice in underground activities as they are practically untraceable. But recently people have started using it globally for trading, shopping and for investment purposes after its value hit all-time high. The prevalence of Bitcoins has caused some concerns in government due to its hidden nature.

Currently, an inter-disciplinary committee chaired by the special secretary economic affairs and representatives from department of economic affairs, department of financial services, department of revenue (CBDT), ministry of home affairs, ministry of electronics and information technology, RBI, Niti Aayog and SBI are studying virtual currencies and how the government should deal with it.

“The circulation of virtual currencies which are also known as digital/ crypto currencies has been a cause of concern,” said a consultation paper from the committee seeking comments on virtual currency. It said this has been expressed in various fora from time to time.

“RBI had also cautioned the user’s, holders and traders of virtual currencies (VCs), including Bitcoins, about the potential financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks that they are exposing themselves to vide it’s press releases dated 24th December, 2013 and 1st February, 2017,” it said.

The committee has asked wether VCs should be banned, regulated or observed?

It said that in case VCs are suggested to be regulated what measures should be taken to ensure consumer protection and what measures should be taken to promote orderly development of such currencies. Which institutions should regulate such currencies in India.

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