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“No well-informed debate on Crypto”: RBI Governor warns against virtual currency

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Showing concerns over unregulated crypto markets that cannot be allowed to become avenues for money laundering and terror financing, Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das said that India needs much deeper discussions on the issue of cryptocurrencies. The dialogue comes as the government formulates a law to regulate private virtual coins.

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“When the central bank says that we have serious concerns from the point of view of macroeconomic and financial stability, there are far deeper issues involved,” Das said at the State Bank of India’s Economics Conclave. “I’m yet to see serious, well-informed discussions in the public space on these issues.” 

India’s approach toward cryptocurrencies has evolved over time, going from being almost outlawed to being reinstated by the courts. There have been calls to impose stricter rules for transactions in virtual coins as an unregulated environment could push more domestic savings toward the asset class. 

The finance ministry is working on a legislation to regulate such assets. After a recent review meeting by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, officials said the government was planning progressive measures on the issue. 

“Anecdotally, and even otherwise, we have lot of feedback that credit is being provided to open accounts, and various kinds of incentives are being provided,” Das said.

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“The value of transactions and trading has gone up but the number of accounts is exaggerated,” he said, and added about 70%-80% of the virtual currency accounts have a balance of less than ₹ 2,000 ($27).

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