The Indian government has claimed that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is examining the legal and security ramifications of virtual currencies.
The Hindu reported that Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram made the following statement to the Rajya Sabha, India's Upper House of Parliament:
"The RBI is presently examining the issues associated with the usage, holding and trading of virtual currencies, including bitcoins, under the extant legal and regulatory framework of the country, including foreign exchange and payment systems laws and regulations."
Last December, the RBI issued an advisory cautioning Indians against the volatility of all virtual currencies. A bitcoin fan filed a claim pressing the RBI for clarification on this advisory, which alluded to the legitimacy of bitcoin.
Mr Na "Naavi" Vijayashankar is the lawyer representing that case. He claimed the latest statement from Chidambaram is quite neutral:
"I don't see anything different except now we can say that the matter is under the attention of the biggest monetary authority in India, which is the Finance Minister."
He added: "Even though the Reserve Bank of India is the regulatory authority, the political support has to come from the government. So at least now we can say all the persons who ought to be there in decision-making have been properly brought to the discussion table."
The current term of the Indian Parliament is coming to an end with a general election this spring. Vijayashankar stressed that with this development, it is important to get the political support for the virtual currency agenda.
Meanwhile, Vijayshankar is planning on taking his case to the higher courts of judiciary by next week.
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