comscore Union Budget 2018: Arun Jaitley bans cryptocurrencies; operators say it's 'business as usual'
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Union Budget 2018: Arun Jaitley bans cryptocurrencies; operators say it's 'business as usual'

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley declared cryptocurrencies as illegal.

  • Published: February 2, 2018 8:46 AM IST
bitcoin

Exchange platforms dealing in controversial cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins asserted that it’s “business as usual” hours after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley declared such instruments as illegal. Also Read - India bans 43 more Chinese apps over security concerns

“There is no change in the government stance with respect to trading cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency holders need not panic and the business is as usual,” chief executive and co-founder of Unocoin Sathvik Vishwanath said. Also Read - Fake Xiaomi products worth Rs 33 lakh seized in Bengaluru, Chennai

Another player Zebpay’s Nischint Sanghavi claimed that Jaitley’s comments are being misreported to say that Bitcoins are illegal and affirmed his exchange’s full support to the government to eliminate their use in illegitimate activities. Also Read - TikTok-like short-video making app Chingari touches 38 million users

“This announcement does not affect our customers as we hold the highest standards for know your customer and anti- money laundering policies,” he said. Belfrics Global’s chairman Praveenkumar Vijayakumar said the government is taking time to understand the crypto world and the country’ global share on cryptocurrency market is steadily increasing.

“Government intervention can only help regulate this entire industry,” he said. Amid a huge spike in the value of the unregulated cryptocurrencies, which are “mined” using secret algorithms based on the blockchain technologies, Jaitley today said such instruments are illegal and vowed that government will work to eliminate their use for illegal activities and also being used in the payment system. “Government does not consider crypto-currencies legal tender or coins and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system,”Jaitley said in the Budget speech.

The head of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Committee of India Ajeet Khurana interpreted the minister’s remarks as a “clear indication of how important and widespread this technological innovation has become in the country.

“We welcome the statement, and reaffirms our unstinting assistance to the government, and all regulators, in helping evolve a robust ecosystem for cryptocurrencies,” Khurana added.

It can be noted that the Reserve Bank has been warning the public regularly against the risks that such instruments pose and has made its discomfort clear multiple times.

“The necessary next step is for government to legislate and thereafter regulate cryptocurrencies in the country. Clarifications are needed in respect of taxability, KYC norms, transferability, ownership, acquisition of cryptocurrencies here,” Malav Virani of the law firm MDP and partners said. The sector also welcomed the positive approach with which government is looking at the blockchain technologies on which such cryptocurrencies are based.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

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  • Published Date: February 2, 2018 8:46 AM IST



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