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Regulating cryptocurrency will have to be a collective effort: FM Nirmala Sitharaman

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: While the government is keen to introduce a bill on cryptocurrency, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said that regulating cryptocurrency will have to be a collective effort as the technology is constantly evolving and changing. “The regulation both executive and legislative only doing catching up with technology. They can never be on top of it because the technology is constantly evolving and changing,” the FM said in a panel discussion on ‘FinTech for an inclusive growth across the globe’ during the Infinity event.

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“To regulate it, will have to be a collective effort.”

Mulyani Indrawati, Finance Minister of Indonesia and Tengku Zafrul Aziz, Finance Minister of Malaysia were also part of the panel moderated by Bibek Debroy, Chairman, Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council.

On Thursday, replying to a question relating to cryptocurrencies in Rajya Sabha, Sitharaman had said, “This is a risky area and not in a complete regulatory framework. No decision was taken on banning its advisements. Steps are taken to create awareness through RBI and SEBI. The government will soon introduce a Bill.”

India is unlikely to shut the door on cryptocurrencies and instead take a nuanced approach. According to a report, they may not be permitted as currency to settle transactions and make payments but could be held as an asset like shares, gold or bonds.

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Active solicitation by companies including exchanges and platforms could be barred. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) could be designated as the regulator, although a final call is yet to be taken.

The government is also working on the taxation aspects and the upcoming legislation is expected to address this.

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