Will go through SC order on cryptocurrency: FM Sitharaman

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March 04, 2020 9:45 PM

Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual currencies in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of their units and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. 

The apex court on Wednesday set aside an RBI circular of 2018 which had prohibited financial sector entities from providing services to any individual or business dealing in virtual currencies.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said she will go through the Supreme Court order allowing banks and financial institutions to provide services related to cryptocurrencies. The apex court on Wednesday set aside an RBI circular of 2018 which had prohibited financial sector entities from providing services to any individual or business dealing in virtual currencies.

“I will have to go through the apex court order and then will probably meet you all to see what we want to do or how we look at the judgement,” the minister said at a press briefing here. She was responding to questions regarding government’s stand on cryptocurrencies in the backdrop of the Supreme Court’s judgement.

Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual currencies in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of their units and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

Last year, an inter-ministerial committee had suggested banning of private cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and criminalising any activities related to virtual currencies. Regarding the panel’s report, Sitharaman said the ministry had not taken a decision on it.

The Reserve Bank had through public notices on December 24, 2013, February 1, 2017 and December 5, 2017, cautioned users, holders and traders of virtual currencies, including bitcoins, regarding various risks associated in dealing with such virtual currencies.

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