India Wants to 'Eliminate' the Use of Cryptocurrencies, Embraces the Blockchain

Budget 2018: Arun Jaitley Speaks About Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Trading in India

Budget 2018: Arun Jaitley Speaks About Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Trading in India

The government does not consider cryptocurrency as legal and will take all measures against its illegal use, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while presenting the Union Budget 2018. "The intention is more likely to regulate the circulation to avoid its use for illegal transactions", Rashmi Deshpande, associate partner, Khaitan & Co, told IBTimes India, in an email statement.

The central bank, which is apparently uncomfortable with the non-fiat nature of the conventional virtual currencies, is already said to be looking at the possibility of a fiat cryptocurrency that can become the digital counterpart of the Indian rupee.

He added, "The government will explore use of blockchain technology proactively for ushering in digital economy". Jaitley, however, made it clear that the government is not against blockchain, the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies.

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The Indian government talks a big talk when putting down Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but such actions has done little to curb their popularity.

Nevertheless, India's cryptocurrencies exchanges seemed undeterred by the announcement as it did business as usual.

Experts have welcome the government's stand on blockchain.

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According to a transcript published by LiveMint, Jaitley - giving an annual budget speech - reiterated the policy view and said that the government would take measures against the tech's use for illegitimate purposes.

In the Winter Sesson of Parliament, Jaitley had said that Bitcoins or such crypto-currencies are not legal tender and those indulging in such transactions are doing it at their own risk. "However, banning cryptocurrency will not necessarily mean the stop of trading activity around it".

DD Mishra, research director at Gartner, says that the government should regularise the cryptocurrencies. "India's global share on cryptocurrency market is steadily increasing and government intervention can only help regulate this entire industry", said Praveenkumar Vijaykumar, CEO of Belfrics Global.

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However, Monish states that this is a "wait and watch situation", to understand the final framework of such legislation, if such legislation is introduced.

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