Indian Prime Minister Modi says cryptocurrencies should not fall into the wrong hands

Indian Prime Minister Modi says cryptocurrencies should not fall into the wrong hands
Prime Minister Narendra Modi TOI
  • Prime Minister Modi had chaired a meeting on crypto regulations - less than a week ago.
  • A Parliamentary Committee on Finance also met crypto stakeholders earlier in the week.
  • A bill on cryptocurrencies was expected during the monsoon session of the Parliament, but was pushed.
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is calling on world governments to work together to regulate the cryptocurrency industry. “Take cryptocurrency or Bitcoin for example. It is important that all democratic nations work together on this and ensure it does not end up in (the) wrong hands, which can spoil our youth,” Modi said while speaking at the Sydney Dialogues today. He also called for collaboration in cybersecurity, developing trusted supply chains, and more.

Modi's call for collaboration comes less than a week after he chaired a government meeting on cryptocurrency regulation. That meeting was followed by a Parliamentary Committee meeting, which was scheduled for over a week. A committee on finance met crypto stakeholders on November 15, to discuss regulations in the country.

“Members of Parliament wanted to understand what is happening in the industry landscape and what are challenges and opportunities in crypto finance. Cryptocurrency has an impact on monetary policy and fiscal stability. It should not be used for illicit trade or terror financing. It is important to balance innovation and regulation," Jayant Sinha, chairman of the committee and a Member of Parliament (MP) from the ruling party, BJP, told a media channel in an interview.

Regulating cryptocurrencies

The Modi government has been working on regulating cryptocurrencies in India for over a year now. The government’s tussle with the crypto industry dates back to 2018, when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) banned cryptocurrencies in the country, by stopping banks from doing business with such companies.


And India’s central bank governor has voiced his concerns over the adoption of cryptocurrencies, time and again.

“I would only like to say that when the RBI as the central bank of the country, which is entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining financial stability, after due internal deliberation says that there are serious concerns on macro-economic and financial stability, there are deeper issues. I’m yet to see serious, well-informed discussion in the public space on these issues,” RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said while speaking at an online event arranged by the State Bank of India (SBI) yesterday.

That said, while the RBI has been opposed to the use of cryptocurrencies, the government seems to be working out regulations that will still allow them. In June, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the government will take a “calibrated” approach to cryptocurrencies in the country. A bill on the same was expected during the monsoon session of the Parliament earlier, but was pushed to the upcoming Winter session.

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