PM Modi Chairs High-Level Meeting on Cryptocurrencies and Related Topics: Report

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a crucial meeting on the way forward for cryptocurrencies and related topics, news agency AND ME reported citing unidentified government sources.

The crucial meeting comes after Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das sounded the alarm about cryptocurrencies, warning investors about the potential dangers of digital currency.

Cryptocurrencies are a very serious concern from a macroeconomic and financial stability standpoint, Das said on Wednesday.

Today’s meeting was exhaustive and there were also discussions on how to stop ads that overpromise and mislead young investors.

The meeting was also the result of a consultative process in which the RBI, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Interior had carried out a detailed exercise on the matter and had consulted experts from around the country and the world.

Sources told ANI that during the meeting issues of the unregulated crypto market were addressed and that they cannot be allowed to become avenues for money laundering and terrorist financing.

The government is aware of the fact that this is an evolving technology, therefore the government will keep a close eye and take proactive measures, the people said.

There was also consensus during the meeting that the measures taken in the field of cryptocurrency and related issues by the government will be progressive and forward-looking.

The government will continue to proactively interact with experts and other stakeholders, the sources added, noting that since the problem transcends geographic boundaries, it was felt that it would also require global partnerships and collective strategies.

Fast-paced developments in the crypto space come at a time when the crypto craze remains high among Indian investors, especially retailers.

After the Supreme Court in early March 2020 struck down the RBI order, which effectively lifted the ban on cryptocurrency trading in India, the craze in India has grown at a dizzying rate.

Following this, on February 5, 2021, the central bank had instituted an internal panel to suggest a central bank digital currency model.

The RBI had announced its intention to launch an official digital currency, given the proliferation of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin for which the central bank has had many concerns.

The union government has yet to enact a law on cryptocurrencies is in consultation with industry experts, comments from various officials and ministers.

After several rounds of caution, the government may very much wish to set severe limits on cryptocurrency trading in India in the broader public interest.

Private digital currencies have gained popularity in the last decade or so. But regulators and governments have been skeptical of these currencies and are concerned about the associated risks.

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