India Signals Crackdown on Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency Usage
In presenting the country’s budget plan for 2018 today, Indian finance Minister doubled down on refusing to recognize cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as legal tender amid talk of a wider crackdown on their usage.
Speaking at the Indian Parliament while presenting the Union Budget 2018-19 today, India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley said:
The Government does not consider cryptocurrencies as legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these cryptoassets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payments system.
The finance minister’s declaration comes a little over a month after the country’s Ministry of Finance cautioned the public against investments in cryptocurrencies, likening them to ponzi schemes.
Still, today’s remark is primarily a rehash of what we already knew of the government’s stance on cryptocurrencies. While the statement is likely to cause concern among adopters and investors of cryptocurrencies, Jaitley made no mention of an explicit ban on bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.
Further, any clampdown on the usage of cryptocurrencies as payment instruments does not forbid adopters from trading them on cryptocurrency exchanges. Indeed, the finance minister made no suggestions toward any ban on cryptocurrency exchanges orcryptocurrencies outright.
While bitcoin-friendly restaurants and other local establishments accepting the cryptocurrency might be forced to stop, there is no indication of any curbs upon buying and selling of cryptocurrencies through exchanges.