The government informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that a bill on crypto currencies was being finalised and it will soon be sent to the Cabinet. Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Finance, said the government will soon bring a bill on crypto currencies as existing laws were “inadequate” to deal with issues concerning them.
Thakur, who was replying to a question in the Upper House, said regulatory bodies like RBI and Sebi do not have any legal framework to directly regulate crypto currencies as they are not currencies, assets, securities or commodities issued by identifiable users.
“The existing laws are inadequate to deal with the subject,” he said.
The government had formed an Inter-Ministerial Committee which has given its report on issues related to virtual currencies. There was also a meeting of the Empowered Technology Group. The Committee of Secretaries chaired by the Cabinet Secretary has also given its report.
“A bill (on crypto currencies) is being finalised and it will soon be send to the Cabinet. We will soon be bringing a bill,” Thakur said.
In view of the risks associated with Virtual Currencies (VCs), including Bitcoins, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) through a circular in April 2018, had advised all the entities regulated by it not to deal in VCs or provide services for facilitating any person or entity in dealing with or settling VCs. However, Supreme Court, vide judgement dated March 4, 2020, had set aside the RBI’s circular.
Cryptocurrency is a kind of digital currency that is intended to act as a medium of exchange. It has earned popularity in the last decade with Bitcoin becoming the most widely tracked alternative currency.