India’s been grappling with the regulation of cryptocurrencies for a while now, often indicating its aversion to them—yet not banning them. However, a former top finance ministry official insists that bitcoin and its ilk ought not to be allowed at all.

Shaktikanta Das, a former secretary of economic affairs who also headed the government’s first panel set up in April 2017 to understand and recommend regulations, believes regulating them would be a tough task. “Let us accept that it would not be possible to regulate it effectively.

Because they will do transactions from their houses. You cannot enter every home to check what transactions are going on.

So, I think this is a serious challenge, and this should not be allowed at all,” said Das, currently a member of the 15th finance commission that has been tasked with reviewing the government’s financial situation. The government’s aversion to cryptocurrencies can be traced back to 2013, when India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), cautioned users against potential security threats.

But multiple warnings, both from the finance ministry and the RBI, have failed to deter even conservative Indian investors from cryptocurrencies. Not one, but two committees in the finance ministry have tried to understand and recommend regulations for cryptocurrencies. Read more from…

thumbnail courtesy of