The Indian Supreme Court has asked the government to respond to calls to regulate bitcoin.
Three justices issued a notice to the central bank, the market regulator, the tax department, and several other agencies, asking them to answer a petition on the matter, the Hindu, an Indian newspaper, reported Tuesday.
The original petition to the court expressed concern that bitcoin can be used to conduct transactions across borders without a trace, making it an attractive tool for ransomware attackers and tax cheats.
According to the petition:
The petition goes on to state that bitcoin exchanges in India add 2,500 users per day, and that some 500,000 residents now hold bitcoin. As of 3:00 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, the exchange rate between Indian rupees and bitcoin was more than 470,000.
As a result of its adoption, bitcoin usage may affect "the market value of other commodities," according to the petition, which pleaded with the court for an "urgent direction" for the government to intervene.
India has typically adopted a "wait-and-see" stance on cryptocurrencies, discussing their role in the world's largest democracy but not taking concrete steps to regulate or prohibit them.
In April, the government formed a committee to study cryptocurrencies and propose new regulations.
Correction: An earlier headline on this article misdescribed the Indian Supreme Court's action. As correctly noted in the story, the court asked the government only to respond to a petition.
Indian flag image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.