Issue of national security key as govt decides on cryptocurrency, says Thakur
- Cryptocurrency is, however, not legally banned and the government is in the process of enacting a law on this matter.
The government needs to be very careful while taking any decision regarding cryptocurrencies as they are highly volatile and could have security implications, Union minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur said on Saturday, adding that the government was keen to embrace the blockchain technology of virtual currencies.
“We understand there is an immense interest in these emerging virtual currencies, but we also need to look at the national security and securities of Indians and individuals,” he said at a virtual event organised by the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO) Punjab.
The Indian government has not accepted any cryptocurrency as a legal tender and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cautioned users of cryptocurrencies of the risks involved in dealing with virtual currencies. Cryptocurrency is, however, not legally banned and the government is in the process of enacting a law on this matter.
Thakur said the government welcomes innovation and new technology, but with caution, so that citizens get due protection and national security is ensured. “And looking at Prime Minister Modi, he himself is a strong advocate of embracing technology in various aspects of governance,” he said. “If you look at one of these currencies... in couple of weeks time the rate is X... after couple of weeks you could see it becomes 10X. It doesn’t happen with the fiat currency. So, I think, you have to be very careful at this stage for taking any kind of step... That is why this inter-ministerial committee is helping with their report and government will look into that and if need be, we’ll come out with legislation as soon as possible.”