Cryptocurrencies safe or not? RBI governor voices ‘major concerns’

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February 25, 2021 1:00 AM

He simultaneously added that blockchain technology is different from cryptocurrencies and the benefits of the former have to be exploited. “But, on crypto, we have major concerns from the financial stability angle,” he said.

At the same time, the central bank is on track to launch its digital currency, he said, without specifying a timeline for the completion of the project.At the same time, the central bank is on track to launch its digital currency, he said, without specifying a timeline for the completion of the project.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has “major concerns” about the risks posed by the cryptocurrencies to financial stability, governor Shaktikanta Das said in an interview on Wednesday. At the same time, the central bank is on track to launch its digital currency, he said, without specifying a timeline for the completion of the project.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Das said, “We have certain major concerns about cryptocurrency. We have communicated them to the government. It is under consideration with the government and I do expect and I think that sooner or later, the government will take a call and if required, the Parliament also will consider and decide.”

He simultaneously added that blockchain technology is different from cryptocurrencies and the benefits of the former have to be exploited. “But, on crypto, we have major concerns from the financial stability angle,” he said.

Das made a distinction between the plan to launch direct retail participation in the government securities market from the digital currency. The RBI is working to launch its digital currency and it is work-in-progress at present. “A lot of work is going on. There is an RBI team working on it, both the technology side as well as the procedural side — how it will be launched and rolled out. We are very much in the game,” Das said, adding, “If you ask me a date, at this point, it will be difficult for me to say because several loose ends need to be tied up. But it’s receiving our full attention.”

In a booklet on payment systems released last month, the RBI had said that while private digital currencies (PDCs), virtual currencies (VCs) and cryptocurrencies (CCs) have gained popularity in recent years, in India, regulators and governments have been sceptical about these currencies and are apprehensive about the associated risks.

“Nevertheless, RBI is exploring the possibility as to whether there is a need for a digital version of fiat currency and in case there is, then how to operationalise it,” the booklet said.

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