Bitcoin Not Legal Tender in India, Finance Minister Says

India's finance minister, Arun Jaitley, has said bitcoin is not legal tender in the country and indicated that regulations are under consideration.

Dec 1, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:13 a.m. UTC

India's finance minister, Arun Jaitley, has clarified that the government does not recognize bitcoin as legal tender.

According to the Economic Times, when asked about the government's plans to regulate the cryptocurrency, Jaitley told reporters, "recommendations are being worked at."

He continued:

"The government's position is clear, we don't recognize this as legal currency as of now."

According to the Times, the minister has previously informed the Indian parliament that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country's central bank, has not issued any licenses to operate with cryptocurrencies in the country. He further informed the parliament that the country does not have any regulations governing virtual currencies.

Back in April, the Indian government moved closer to developing cryptocurrency regulations, setting up an interdisciplinary committee including the Reserve Bank, the Ministry of Revenue, the Department of Financial Services, and others.

However, just last month, the Indian Supreme Court pushed the government to respond to calls to regulate bitcoin.

Concerned over bitcoin's anonymity and its potential illicit uses, justices issued a notice to the central bank and other agencies asking them to answer a petition on the matter, reports indicated.

Arun Jaitley image via Pranshu Rathi/Flickr

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