Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Says Bitcoins Are Not Legal!
When asked regarding the issue of cryptocurrencies he has made some interesting statements on the future of bitcoins.
Finally, even the Finance Minister of India had to come out, and issue statements on the fate of cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoins in India.
When asked regarding this issue inside Rajya Sabha, India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley issued some interesting statements on the future of bitcoins, which would be closely observed by those who have invested in them.
Although the statements issued doesn’t give any clear-cut solution, but yes, it certainly incites that hope.
Let’s see what all he said.
No Knee-Jerk Decisions On The Future of Bitcoins
Putting away these fears, Arun Jaitley clearly stated that there shall be no ‘knee-jerk’ decisions on the matter, and Govt. is looking at it logically.
“The government is examining the matter. A Committee under the chairmanship of the Economic Affairs Department Secretary is deliberating over all issues related to cryptocurrencies to propose specific actions to be taken… Instead of taking any knee-jerk action, let’s wait for the report of this committee.”
This means that Govt. is right now considering the opinions of experts on this issue, and any decision which they take will be fueled by reasoning and rationale, rather than rumours and speculations.
Establishment of a special committee, that too under the chairmanship of the Economic Affairs Department Secretary is a welcome step here.
Can’t Prevent Terrorists From Using Bitcoins
Now, on the issue of unwanted and illegal usage of bitcoins by terrorists, Finance Minister made it clear that no Govt. or authority has the capability to control its usage; hence expecting Govt. to stop terrorists from using bitcoins is certainly not done.
“One of the features of cryptocurrency is that there is lack of dependence on the state. It functions with a degree of anonymity. It operates within a virtual community which is created and enjoys the trust of that virtual community..”
Again, this is an optimist stand by the Govt. regarding a negative usage. Earlier, speculations were rife that Govt. will impose anti-terrorist laws and anti-money-laundering laws on those who use bitcoins.
But now, as per this statement, it is clear that nothing of sorts will happen, because the Govt has admitted that no-one can exactly control the flow of bitcoins.
However, in the end, the Minister restated the fact that RBI has already said 4 times in the past: Bitcoins is not a legal tender, and Govt. doesn’t endorse it.
“Since December 2013, the RBI and the government have consistently maintained that this (Bitcoin) is not a lawful legal tender in India. Therefore, no legal protection for the person dealing in it is available,”
Interestingly, Warren Buffet, the ace investor who is considered almost a God by the investors, have strongly opposed the use and benefits of bitcoins.
In 2014, he had said described bitcoins as a “mirage” and a “bubble”.
Comparing bitcoins with cheques, he had said,
“It’s a method of transmitting money. It’s a very effective way of transmitting money and you can do it anonymously and all that. A cheque is a way of transmitting money, too. Are cheques worth a whole lot of money just because they can transmit money?… The idea that it has some huge intrinsic value is just a joke in my view.”
We will keep you updated, as we receive more news related to bitcoins and cryptocurrencies in India.