Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged democratic nations to cooperate in regulating private virtual currencies failing which they could land up in the “wrong hands”.
In a speech at the Sydney Dialogue delivered Thursday, Modi said it was important to ensure the digital currencies should not be used in an unlawful manner as it could spoil the youth. His comments come amid discussions to formulate India’s policy on private virtual currencies.
India has had a hot-and-cold relationship with digital currencies in the past few years. In 2018, it effectively banned crypto transactions after a string of frauds following Modi’s sudden decision to eliminate 80% of the nation’s currencies, but the Supreme Court struck down the restriction in March 2020.
In recent months, there have been calls to impose stricter rules for transactions in virtual coins as an unregulated environment could push more domestic household savings towards the asset class. India’s central bank is opposed to private virtual currencies and earlier this week, Governor Shaktikanta Das said the country needs much deeper discussions on the issue of cryptocurrencies.
On Wednesday, The Economic Times newspaper reported that India may allow private virtual currencies to be treated like investments. It added that New Delhi is finalizing laws for regulation of crypto asset trading while banning the use of virtual currencies for payments and transactions.
Along with digital currencies, Modi urged democracies including “India, Australia and our partners in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond” to invest together in future technologies to “deepen intelligence and operational cooperation and develop common standards for data governance and cross border flow of data.”
India is building the world’s most extensive public digital infrastructure and is also working on incentives for companies to help set up semiconductor manufacturing units, Modi said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)