Wait for the New Crypto Bill – Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said, the Crypto Bill doing rounds is an old one and the new draft is under discussion. She said that the Centre has no proposal to recognise Bitcoin as a currency.

The possibility of cryptocurrencies falling into the wrong hands, according to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, is being monitored. The Minister also noted that no decision has been made to prohibit the advertising of digital currencies.

Let’s wait for the new Crypto Bill – Indian Finance Minister

Ms. Sitharaman also stated that “let’s wait for the Bill” after comprehensive deliberations on the regulatory capability of cryptocurrencies.

“There were other dimensions and the old Bill had to be reworked and now we are trying to work on a new Bill,” she added.

Replying to a barrage of questions in the Rajya Sabha, Ms Sitharaman said, “This Bill, once the Cabinet clears, will come into the house”.

The government had also listed a similar Bill for the last Parliament session (monsoon) but it was not taken up.

“The earlier attempt was definitely to come up with a Bill that the house can consider. But, later, because rapidly a lot of things had to come into play, we had started working on a new Bill. This is the Bill that is now being proposed,” she said adding that there was a “genuine attempt” to bring the Bill even during the monsoon session.

The minister also said cryptocurrencies are unregulated in India and the government does not collect data on transactions in cryptocurrency.

Ms Sitharaman also said the government, RBI and Sebi have been cautioning people about the cryptocurrencies that could be a “high risk” area and “more can be done” to create awareness.

Ms Sitharaman, on Monday, had said that the Centre has no proposal to recognise Bitcoin as a currency in the country. She also mentioned that the government does not collect data on Bitcoin transactions.

The government had said that it has received a proposal from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to include digital currency under the definition of a ‘bank note’.

In October, the RBI had introduced the proposal of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

CBDCs — digital or virtual currency — are basically the digital version of fiat currencies, for instance, rupee in India.

Meanwhile, the RBI has repeatedly raised concerns over cryptocurrencies posing macro-economic and financial stability risks.


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