India Has No Plans To Recognize Bitcoin As Legal Tender, Finance Minister Sitharaman Asserts

Bitcoin Set To Become Legal Tender In Ukraine — Crypto At The Top Of Its Financial Agenda

The crypto bill is one of the 26 bills on the Indian legislative agenda. Even so, the Finance Minister confirmed the proposal to make Bitcoin a legal tender isn’t part of it.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in a written reply to the lower house of parliament, revealed there is no proposal to recognize Bitcoin as a legal tender in the country. 

However, some reports claim the Indian government may propose a bill to treat Bitcoin as an asset while at the same time banning it as a legal tender. The minister also informed the house that the Government of India does not “collect data on Bitcoin transactions”.

The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021 seek to illegalize all private digital assets in the country. Despite that, the bill seeks to exempt specific cryptocurrencies to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies. The goal is to “create a facilitative framework for the creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India,” the report reads in part.

Crypto Uncertainty in India Continues

India has so far had a love-hate relationship with cryptocurrencies. In 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) banned banks from facilitating crypto-related transactions. In 2020, however, the Supreme Court overturned the RBI’s decision to ban crypto transactions.

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The Digital Currency Bill 2021 proposes to launch an official digital currency to be issued and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India.

Recently, the opposition linked the Narendra Modi administration to the “Bitcoin Scam” cover-up. The government responded to the allegations leveled against it, stating:

“Information in public domain suggests that a case of cybercrime involving Bitcoin has been under examination by the Karnataka police.”

The government added that it had taken legal action against offenders.

Regarding the Central Bank Digital Currency, the RBI issued its proposal to lawmakers. According to the Finance Minister, the RBI’s proposal seeks to introduce the CBDC.