Indian Finance Minister Awaits Committee Results But Does Not Award Bitcoins With Legal Tender Status In The Meantime
Arun Jaitley, the Finance minister of India clarified on Tuesday, 2’nd January of 2018 that Bitcoin has not yet received the recognition of being a legal tender in the home nation. He also added that the government is eagerly awaiting a report on the same by subject experts before taking the final call of whether to walk on a path of harmony or to part ways with bitcoin. Warnings have been issued by the government previously asking investors to think twice before diving into the crypto pool.
The government regulators feel that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin which function without any central authority monitoring the same are much like Ponzi schemes having no protection or legal tender recognition. A statement issued by the Finance Ministry pointed out that,
“There is a real and heightened risk of investment bubble of the type seen in Ponzi schemes which can result in sudden and prolonged crash exposing investors, especially retail consumers losing their hard-earned money. Consumers need to be alert and extremely cautious as to avoid getting trapped in such Ponzi schemes.”
Stored in virtual wallets, these cryptocurrencies are highly vulnerable to cyber theft which can also lead to permanent loss of money by transferring the same into another anonymous account.
Starting from 3rd January 2017, when Bitcoin was traded at $1030, it underwent a meteoric rise of 1200% to $13268 on 2nd January 2018. DMK member Kanimozhi placed an enquiry during the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha seeking to know whether the government was thinking of bringing upon regulation in cryptocurrency sphere. This has become all the more necessary as India “accounts for more than 11 per cent” of global trading volume.
Jaitley answered the same stating that the Centre had yet not arrived at a final stand. However as of now it does not recognise virtual currencies as legal tender. He emphasized that,
“The government is examining the matter. A committee under the chairmanship of secretary, department of economic affairs, is deliberating over all issues related to cryptocurrencies to propose specific actions to be taken.”
He concluded by saying that once the report is submitted by the committee, further steps shall be taken in regards to cryptocurrency operation.