India's Finance Minister Strikes Stern Tone on Cryptos in Budget Speech

During his annual budget speech, Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley confirmed his position that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender.

Feb 1, 2018 at 4:15 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:31 a.m. UTC

Arun Jaitley, India's finance minister, said Thursday that the government does not view cryptocurrencies as a form of legal tender, echoing comments he made late last year.

According to a transcript published by LiveMint, Jaitley – giving an annual budget speech – reiterated the policy view and said that the government would take measures against the tech's use for illegitimate purposes. He also referred to prohibiting their use "as part of the payment system," though what this means in practice remains to be seen pending expected regulations from the government.

He was quoted as (per the transcript):

"The Government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system."

, Jaitley said the Indian government was working on recommendations to regulate cryptocurrencies but had acknowledged that there are currently no rules surrounding digital currencies. The government has set up a committee with the central bank and various government departments to study possible regulations.

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

In contrast to his comments on cryptocurrencies, Jaitley mentioned blockchain technology in a more positive light during Thursday's speech, noting its use in recording transactions or data without requiring an intermediate platform.

"The Government will explore [the] use of blockchain technology proactively for ushering in [a] digital economy," he said, per the transcript.

The comments have raised fears that India is moving to ban cryptocurrencies outright, though it remains to be seen what specific measures the government will introduce following Jaitley's comments.

Image Credit: WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM/swiss-image.ch/Photo Jolanda Flubacher (from Flickr.com)

The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

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.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
Sequoia's Guide to Surviving the 2022 Bear Market

Venture capitalists have gotten increasingly frantic over the last few months.

Venture capitalists have gotten increasingly frantic over the last few months.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
NFT Art Museums Are a Good Idea

The metaverse turns galleries global, and helps fund the arts. This article is part of “Metaverse Week."

The metaverse turns galleries global, and helps fund the arts. This article is part of “Metaverse Week."

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
How the US Can Establish Itself as a Crypto Leader

Regulators have an opportunity to map out thoughtful, strategic policy on stablecoins and beyond.

Regulators have an opportunity to map out thoughtful, strategic policy on stablecoins and beyond.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
No, the UK Is Not Going to Make USDC and USDT Legal Tender

For “legalize” read “regulate.”

For “legalize” read “regulate.”

CoinDesk - Unknown