Bitcoin use is legal or illegal in India may be decided soon. The government of India (Ministry of Finance) formed a Committee to decide fate of Virtual currencies in India soon.
There were many concerns raised by many agencies, Govt officials and Reserve Bank of India regarding the increasing use of Bitcoins and Virtual currencies in India. The RBI even went a step ahead and warned users about the potential financial, operational, legal, remittance, customer protection, money laundering and security related risks. Recently, the price of Bitcoin got a lot of traction, catching attention of these agencies.
It looks like the government of India and the Ministry of Finance noticed the importance of the subject and decided to form a Committee to study the recent developments in the Cryptocurrency, Digital payments and Digital currency world.
In a press release titled “Government constitutes an Inter- Disciplinary Committee chaired by Special Secretary (Economic Affairs) to examine the existing framework with regard to Virtual Currencies”, the Ministry of Finance stated:
In order to examine the existing framework, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance has constituted an Inter- Disciplinary Committee chaired by Special Secretary (Economic Affairs) and representatives from Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Financial Services, Department of Revenue (CBDT), Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology , Reserve Bank of India ,NITI Aayog and State Bank of India. The Committee will (i) take stock of the present status of Virtual Currencies both in India and globally; (ii) examine the existing global regulatory and legal structures governing Virtual Currencies; (iii) suggest measures for dealing with such Virtual Currencies including issues relating to consumer protection, money laundering , etc; and (iv) examine any other matter related to Virtual Currencies which may be relevant.
The formed Committee has been asked to submit their report within 3 weeks.
Let’s wait and see how it goes, since it can be a landmark decision by the government, and could decide the fate of Bitcoins and other Virtual currencies in India soon. We may soon know if it would be legal or illegal to use these digital currencies in India.
Users also noticed its importance, and that’s why the Digital Asset and Blockchain Foundation of India created an online signature campaign, petitioning the government to recogize and set a legal status for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in India. The petition will be delivered to the Finance Minister, Mr Arun Jaitley.
The petition states:
Cryptocurrencies will be available irrespective and the illegal users do not care about its legal status. Please do not take hasty steps and prevent innovation, economic activity and jobs. This will only stop good uses of cryptocurrencies.
This petition will also be delivered Reserve Bank of India, Dr Urjit R Patel and the Ministry of Finance, Shri S Selvakumar.
You can also Sign the petition to Announce bitcoins and cryptocurrencies as legal
Let’s see what happens. These upcoming weeks may be interesting for Bitcoin in India, and I seriously think that it offers India opportunities for innovation and development using Blockchain Technology. So, the government must not ignore its development and impose a ban on it.