India’s Finance Ministry Panel Recommends Government Should Discourage Use of Cryptocurrencies

The multi-ministerial panel created by India’s Finance Ministry has reportedly recommended to the government to take urgent steps to discontinue or discourage the use of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin in the country.

The panel also proposed that the government should regulate the commercial establishments and intermediaries if they continue using the digital currencies to force them to stop their transactions.

Before making its recommendations, the panel consulted the public, as well as the digital currency startup companies and other stakeholders in the market.

The government of India is yet to decide on how to effectively deal with the use of digital currencies in the country. Aside from the panel, however, the government has also created a task force to study the feasibility of regulating the cryptocurrencies.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has issued an order to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to conduct an investigation on the complaints over its lack of action about virtual currencies. The central bank was given four weeks to issue a report on the matter.

The use of digital currencies, particularly Bitcoin, continues to grow rapidly across India. According to Bangalore-based Bitcoin exchange Unocoin, there were more than 50 new merchants which have accepted Bitcoin as a form of payment in July 2017 alone.

Meanwhile, a recently conducted survey across the country showed that professionals in the majority of industries have claimed that they already heard about Bitcoin, but they have not experienced personally using it yet.

With these developments, it is very interesting to see if the Indian government will follow the recommendation of the panel and how this will affect the adoption of cryptocurrencies in the country.