- As per Arun Jaitley, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not legal tenders but they are also not banned yet
- Expert groups have been set up for the same whose report is awaited
Bitcoin not a legal tender but “not banned”
Last year, when Government of India considered the bitcoin among other cryptocurrencies an illegal tender, it leads to a turmoil among the investors. Now, the situation has been exacerbated with Arun Jaitley’s announcement on Thursday, so much so that it has lead to the reports of the death of bitcoin in India.
However, it has been greatly exaggerated. The headlines of bitcoin party being over in India added to the pressure on cryptocurrencies.
But it’s not all plain black and white, there are a lot of gray areas here. Jaitley surely did not consider them a legal tender and talked tough on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, there is no outright ban, yet. The Indian government’s plan on regulating the cryptocurrencies are still unformulated.
Finance Minister of India on “Bitcoin” and other cryptocurrencies, his words
On being asked the kind of measures government will take for consumer protection, Arun Jaitley said:
“On December 24, 2013, the RBI and the Government of India have consistently maintained a position and made it public that it is not a legal tender in India.” Jaitley further added, “Expert Groups, under secretary department of economics affair have been set up on how to deal with this situation for which the report is still waiting.”
Back in April, the government did set up a committee to look into the cryptocurrency market. With no regulations being set up yet, rumours are growing dramatically.
On being asked would he consider immediate direction to prohibit its purchases and transaction with immediate effect, Jaitley commented:
“The government is awaiting the report for what steps to be taken on immediate action, only once the report comes the measured action would be taken.”
The Finance Minister, however, sounded positive about the blockchain technology as evident by his statement:
“Distributed ledger system or the blockchain technology allows organization of any chain of records or transactions without the need of intermediaries. The Government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system. The Government will explore the use of blockchain technology proactively for ushering in the digital economy.”
The Indian government’s stance on not recognizing crypto as a legal tender has already been made clear by Jaitley, back in December. Nevertheless, there is nothing explicitly stated by him on the ban. In fact, Jaitley said the steps will be taken on the basis of the result of the report and learning from the global experiences as in how the world deals with this global phenomena.
Now, it would be interesting to watch the kind of step government would take? What do you think about India’s “no ban, yet” situation? Let us know your thoughts in our comment section below!
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I am an entrepreneur and a writer with a bachelors degree in Computer Science. I manage the blockchain technology and crypto coverages at Coingape. follow me on Twitter at @arya_achal or reach out to me at achal[at]coingape.com.