Bitcoin, Ethereum, other cryptocurrencies not legal tender in India: FM

Photo: Reuters
Bitcoins or such crypto-currencies are not legal tender and those indulging in such transactions are doing it at their own risk, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday as MPs expressed concern over trading on these platforms.

During the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, DMK member Kanimozhi sought to know whether the government was considering regulating crypto-currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, as India "accounts for more than 11 per cent" of such trade globally.

Jaitley emphasised that the Centre's consistent position was that such currencies were not legal tender.

"The government is examining the matter. A committee under the chairmanship of secretary, department of economic affairs, is deliberating over all issues related to cryptocurrencies to propose specific actions to be taken," he said.

While a repeated message was being given that such currencies were not legal tender, more detailed steps would be taken once the report of the committee is submitted, he said.

Independent member Amar Singh wanted to know what action was being taken in regard to the names which have figured in the Panama papers and Paradise papers, even as trading in bitcoins was also going on.

Jaitley said that the government was acting as per the law in these matters.

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