Indian Finance Minister Says Crypto Regulation Should Be an International Priority

The country will host next year's G-20 summit and thus help shape the agenda.

AccessTimeIconNov 1, 2022 at 10:52 a.m. UTC
Updated Jan 20, 2023 at 9:23 a.m. UTC

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said how to regulate crypto assets should be an international priority and will be a big topic of discussion at a summit that will be held next month to kick off India's yearlong stint of holding the presidency of the Group of 20 nations. India will host the annual G-20 summit next year.

Sitharaman made her remarks Tuesday at an annual event hosted by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations.

She said India needs to encourage international groups such as the International Monetary Fund, Financial Stability Board and the Organization for Economic Co-operation to help form crypto regulations with "all countries being on board."

"No one single country can succeed in individually, being in a silo, trying to regulate the crypto assets," she said.

Sitharaman said India hasn't set crypto-specific legislation yet because "we need to have all the members of the G-20 first of all to come on board to see how best it can be done."

At the same conference, V. Anantha Nageswaran, India's chief economic adviser, echoed Sitharaman's comments, saying that identifying "consensus-based solutions for accelerating the scale and scope of the response of the global community to many transboundary challenges such as regulation of virtual assets" will be a priority of India's G-20 presidency.

For her part, Sitharaman made clear she was talking about crypto as an asset and not as a currency, which is the domain of the Reserve Bank of India, the country's central bank.

Regulating crypto as an asset is "in the national interest because you don’t know what the trail leads you to. Is it drug funding? Is it terror funding? Or is it just gaming the system and so on?” she said.

Showcasing India’s digital revolution will be another priority during the G-20 presidency and that involves the nation’s central bank digital currency, which the RBI started to test on Tuesday, Sitharaman said.

(Update 11:07 UTC, Nov. 1, 2022) - Adds additional comments from Sitharaman in the last two paragraphs.


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Amitoj Singh

Amitoj Singh is CoinDesk's regulatory reporter covering India. He holds BTC and ETH below CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

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