Amid reports of the rising presence of bitcoins and other forms of virtual currencies in India, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur on Saturday said the government has formed a High-Level Inter-Ministerial Committee to look into cryptocurrency, and based on its recommendations the government may present a legislative proposal in Parliament. “Blockchain is a new emerging technology. Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency. I firmly believe that we must always evaluate, explore and encourage new ideas with an open mind,” said the MoS while answering a media query about cryptocurrency at an event in Punjab.
He added that a High-Level Inter-Ministerial Committee was constituted by the central government to accept cryptocurrency as a lawful and legal tender in India. “The government would take a decision (about cryptocurrency) on the recommendations of the committee and the legislative proposal, if any, would be introduced in the Parliament following the due process. I welcome your suggestions and views on this issue,” he added.
For the unversed, Bitcoins are a part of a rising new genre of digital payments called ”cryptocurrencies” that work on blockchain technology with no centralised administrator. This virtual currency emerged in the aftermath of the financial crisis and allows people to bypass banks and traditional payment processes to pay for goods and services.