RBI working on its own digital currency
Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Shaktikanta Das said that it is working on its own digital currency. According to him, the digital currency that RBI is working on will be different from cryptocurrencies. He said the RBI does not want to be left behind in the technological revolution, and the benefits of blockchain technology need to be capitalised. "We've certain concerns regarding cryptocurrencies," he added.
While talking on the opportunities in the post-COVID time, Das said digital penetration in India has scaled a new high. "The time has come to leverage its applications while at the same time strengthening the digital infrastructure."
The RBI's stance on cryptocurrencies is in line with the Central government, which has revealed that it will bring a new bill on cryptocurrencies (The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021). Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that an inter-ministerial committee (IMC) has suggested a ban on private cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, in India. Additionally, the same committee has pitched for the introduction of an official digital currency that will be appropriately regulated by the Reserve Bank of India.
The value of the most popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin continues to rise (Bitcoin touched $58,000 last week) and among the people in India there is an enormous intrigue in digital currencies. However, banning the cryptocurrencies in the country could potentially destroy a lot of value for the general public, say experts.
The RBI had virtually banned cryptocurrency trading in 2018. But the Supreme Court in 2019 asked the government to come up with cryptocurrency regulation policies. In 2020, the apex court struck down the curbs imposed by the RBI on cryptocurrency trade in India.
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