New Delhi: Responding to a question asked on Bitcoin in the Parliament on Monday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman saidC that the government has no proposal to recognise Bitcoin as a currency in the country. She also informed the house that the government does not collect data on Bitcoin transactions.
Whether the government has any proposal to recognise Bitcoin as a currency in the country, the Finance Minister said “No, sir”.
This comes as the government 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 RBI.
The government plans to allow only certain cryptocurrencies to promote the underlying technology and its uses, according to a legislative agenda for the Winter Session.
India has had a hot-and-cold relationship with cryptocurrencies in the past few years. In 2018, the country effectively banned crypto transactions, but the Supreme Court struck down the restriction in March 2020.
Through the cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, India is also looking to make a framework for the official digital currency that will be issued by the Reserve Bank of India. The central bank has voiced “serious concerns” about private cryptocurrencies and is set to launch its own digital currency by December.
Bitcoin 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 token where peer-to-peer transactions take place without any intermediary.