The government is studying the role of operators trading in crypto currencies and assets, Minister of State for Finance P Radhakrishnan said today. “The Reserve Bank of India has cautioned the users, holders and traders of Virtual Currencies vide their Press Release dated December 24, 2013, February 1, 2017 and December 5, 2017, about the potential financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks,” he said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. In reply to another question, he said, a committee under the chairmanship of Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs is deliberating over all the issues related to virtual currencies and crypto assets. Earlier this month, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said all crypto currencies, which include bitcoins, are illegal and the government will take all measures to eliminate their use.
He said however that the government will explore the use of blockchain technology proactively for ushering in the digital economy. Distributed ledger system or blockchain technology allows organisation of any chain of records or transactions without the need of intermediaries, he had said in his Budget speech. “The government does not consider crypto-currencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system,” Jaitley had said.