Indian Finance Minister comments on cryptocurrency according to a report by The New India Express. Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s Finance Minister, commented that cryptocurrencies are to be viewed with extreme caution.
This comes after a general clamp down on cryptocurrencies by the Reserve Bank of India, the central bank of the country. According to a circular, all banks have been warned against working with any entity dealing in cryptocurrency. This makes it difficult for the crypto community in India to get new users on board or exchange their assets into fiat for use.
Expressing concern over usage of cryptocurrencies, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said that many countries have cautioned against rushing into cryptocurrencies.
The finance minister was speaking in Washington, while attending the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, where Facebook’s proposed virtual currency Libra was a matter of discussion.
“On our side, the Reserve Bank Governor spoke about it during our turn to intervene. I got the sense that many countries were cautioning on rushing into this.. countries will have to show extreme caution much before anything is said or moved on this,” Sitharaman told a group of Indian reporters in response to a question over the discussions on Libra.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has banned the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. “Some of them (countries) of course even suggested that they shouldn’t be using, all of us shouldn’t be using the name stable currency because that’s the expression they used. Many cautioned to the extent saying even the name should not be stable currency, it should relate to virtual currency or something of the kind,” she said.
In June, Facebook announced that it would spearhead the launch of a cryptocurrency run by non-profit Switzerland-based Libra Association in 2020. Libra is a so-called “stable coin”, meaning its value is tied to that of underlying fiat currency such as the dollar. “In fact, this morning some of the presentations were also highlighting the strengths of such virtual currency. But equally everyone without fail spoke about the challenges together with talking about it as a necessary step forward. So everyone was stepping cautiously on it,” she said.
After Facebook and China’s announcement of its proposed digital currency, global leaders are already concerned that cryptocurrency would add to a long list of existing tensions between the global superpowers, especially currency manipulation.
Although the draft supports a complete ban of cryptocurrency, it proposes the introduction of an official digital currency for the Indian government. The ‘Digital Rupee’ will be introduced after consulting the central board of the Reserve Bank of India. That’s contradicting the first case of banning cryptocurrency!
Further a relatively fresh statement by India’s Central Bank denied any knowledge of such a bill. Furthermore, India’s Central Bank also claimed not to be in contact with any other agency regarding the creation of such a bill. It is important to note that although this does not explicitly rule out the existence of the draft bill, it casts some doubt on it.