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During the presentation of the country’s budget plan for the year 2018, Indian’s Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, stated that the country will not accept cryptocurrencies as a legal tender or a method of payment.
During the budget speech, Mr Arun Jaitley stated that, “The government does not consider cryptocurrencies as a legal tender or coin, and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these cryptocurrency assets in financing illegitimate activities.” The finance minister announced this as of the government outlined measures to revive the country’s flagging growth rate. He also vows that the government will do everything to put the use of cryptocurrency to an end. He reiterated that India does not recognize them as legal tender and will instead encourage blockchain technology in payment systems.
The finance minister’s announcement of crackdown, comes just a little over a month after the Mr Arun Jailtley cautioned the public against investing in cryptocurrencies, comparing them to ponzi schemes and scams.It happens that bitcoin was increasingly used for illicit activities such as the transfer of money across international borders while evading capital controls. And this has a lead to the high price rate of Bitcoin on Indian exchange platforms. Bitcoin trading has surged in India in recent months, with users drawn by a spike in prices late last year, last week Mr Vishwanath told the Financial Times. “Early last year we were gaining about 10,000 new users each month,” he said. “In December it was about 7,000 to 8,000 each day.”
Today’s remark during the Budget presentation in the Indian Parliament only confirms what we already knew about the government’s stance on cryptocurrencies. This is because over the last few months, the government and the Reserve Bank of India have repeatedly expressed their discomfort over bitcoin and other e-currencies. Late last year, the finance ministry dubbed them a ponzi scheme. “There is a real and heightened risk of investment bubble of the type seen in ponzi schemes which can result in sudden and prolonged crash exposing investors, especially retail consumers losing their hard-earned money,” the ministry had said. “Consumers need to be alert and extremely cautious to avoid getting trapped in such ponzi schemes.”
Of course, the statement is likely to cause a disruption or cause some concern among adopters and investors of Cryptocurrencies. However, no statement was made on the implementation of any ban on bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Further, any clampdown on the usage of cryptocurrencies as payment instruments does not forbid adopters from trading them on cryptocurrency exchanges. Indeed, the finance minister made no suggestions toward any ban on cryptocurrency exchanges orcryptocurrencies outright.
While bitcoin-friendly restaurants and other local establishments accepting the cryptocurrency might be forced to stop, there is no indication of any curbs upon buying and selling of cryptocurrencies through exchanges.
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