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Government examining various aspects of virtual currencies: Mr Anadee Nath Mishra, additional secretary

Capital Market 

The committee appointed by the last year to examine issues related to cryptocurrency has submitted its report and examining pros and cons including launching of its own currency, said a top legal affair ministry official said at an event.

Mr Anadee Nath Mishra, additional secretary, Department of legal affairs, Ministry of and Justice said the is also looking into the allegations that people who had had diverted the same to crypto-currencies in during the period of

It was reported that during the period of lakhs of people had used the illegal money in bitcoins and that's main factors attributed for sudden increase in the prices of bitcoins. The is also examining the use of black money, said Mr

There has been a phenomenal increase in recent times in the price of virtual currencies (VCs) including bitcoin, in and globally. The VCs don't have intrinsic value and are not backed by any kind of assets. The price of bitcoin and other VCs therefore is a matter of mere speculation resulting in spurt and volatility in their prices. There is real risk of investment bubble of the type in ponzi schemes which can result in sudden and prolonged crash exposing investors, especially losing their hard earned money. Consumers need to be alert and extremely cautious as to avoid getting trapped in such ponzi schemes, said Mr Mishra.

VCs are stored in digital/ electronic format, making them vulnerable to hacking, loss of password, malware attack etc. which may also result in permanent loss of money.

As transactions of VCs are encrypted they are also likely being used to carry out illegal activities such as terror-funding, smuggling, drug trafficking and other money-laundering acts, added the

He said, there was report that people who couldn't convert their money use this channel to launder their illegal money and it could have been one of the reasons for sudden rise in the value of bitcoins. The Income Tax (IT) department has also carried out enquiries and notices have been given to numbers of people who have transacted in bitcoins and have been asked to make payment of taxes if they had made any profit out of it.

The policy of government of is extreme cautious right now but we are actually calling it illegal but there is always difference between legality and tax availability, said Mr Mishra.

He also said that but should help is welcome. Lets people do in a legal way.

H. E. Mr Augusto Montiel, Ambassador, of the Bolivarian Republic of said, can bring positive change in quality, efficiency and productivity. enables a strong authentication process. He said, is currently working on an oil-backed currency called Petro.

He said that the has investment worth 9.5 billion dollars of barrels of to back the new currency.

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First Published: Fri, January 12 2018. 09:14 IST