Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday chaired a meeting related to cryptocurrency and their future in India, where there was a consensus that the crypto platforms are misleading the youth of the country and their non-transparent advertisements should be stopped, according to government sources.
The government will also engage in global partnerships to chalk out global strategies to meet the challenge of private, unregulated cryptocurrencies, sources said.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das and Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) chairperson Ajay Tyagi were present physically at the meeting held in New Delhi. The Cryptocurrency Bill is expected to be tabled during the Budget session of the Parliament.
The meeting was an outcome of a consultative process between the RBI, finance ministry, and the home ministry. The three bodies had done an elaborate exercise on the issue as well as consulted experts from across the country and the world, sources say.
Global examples and best practices were also looked at, they said.
"The RBI has serious concerns about private cryptocurrencies and had suggested ways to the government on how to deal with it", RBI governor Shaktikanta Das had said in the Business Standard BFSI Summit last week.
The governor also expressed his doubts if the number of users and amount being bandied around by the crypto platforms are true.
“I am not so sure about the numbers being quoted by crypto platforms. With a reasonable amount of confidence, I can say the number of investors in the crypto market seems to be exaggerated,” the governor said, adding most of the buyers of cryptos in those platforms have anyway invested just between Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000.
According to the sources, the meeting chaired by the prime minister on the way forward for cryptocurrency and related issues was a comprehensive one.
“It was strongly felt that attempts to mislead the youth through over- promising & non-transparent advertising be stopped," government sources said.
The meeting decided that unregulated crypto markets cannot be allowed to become avenues for money laundering & terror financing.
However, the government is aware that this is an evolving technology, and hence, there is a need to keep a close watch and take proactive steps whenever necessary.
There was a consensus that the steps to be taken by the government “will be progressive and forward-looking," sources said.
The government will continue to pro-actively engage with the experts and other stakeholders. And since the issue is cross border, "it was felt that it will also require global partnerships and collective strategies,” sources said.