Government To Soon Bring Bill On Cryptocurrencies
Coins representing Bitcoin, center and right, Litecoin, left, cryptocurrencies sit reflected on a polished surface in the U.K. (Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg)

Government To Soon Bring Bill On Cryptocurrencies

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The government will soon bring a bill on cryptocurrencies as existing laws are inadequate to deal with issues concerning them, Minister of State For Finance Anurag Thakur told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Also read: Caveat Crypto: Beware Purveyors & Proponents Of Cryptocurrencies

Replying to a question in the Upper House, Thakur said regulatory bodies like Reserve Bank of India and Securities and Exchange Board of India do not have any legal framework to directly regulate cryptocurrencies as they are not currencies, assets, securities or commodities issued by identifiable users.

"The existing laws are inadequate to deal with the subject," he said.

The government had formed an Inter-Ministerial Committee which has given its report on issues related to virtual currencies. There was also a meeting of the Empowered Technology Group. The Committee of Secretaries chaired by the Cabinet Secretary has also given its report.

"A bill (on cryptocurrencies) is being finalised and it will soon be sent to the Cabinet. We will soon be bringing a bill," Thakur said.

In view of the risks associated with Virtual Currencies, including Bitcoins, the RBI through a circular in April 2018, had advised all the entities regulated by it not to deal in digital currency or provide services for facilitating any person or entity in dealing with or settling virtual currencies.

However, Supreme Court, vide judgement dated March 4, 2020, had set aside the RBI's circular.

To another question regarding Chinese companies in the country, the minister said as of now, there are around 92 companies registered in the country. Out of them, 80 Chinese companies are actively working in India.

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