Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called for a united effort to create global rules for emerging technologies such as social media and cryptocurrencies so that they are utilised to “empower democracy rather than undermine” it as the government prepared to table a cryptocurrency bill.
“We must also collectively define global rules for emerging technologies like social media and cryptocurrencies, so that they are utilised to empower democracy rather than destroy it,” Prime Minister Modi said during his virtual presentation at US President Joe Biden’s Summit for Democracy.
The administration has stated that it intends to introduce a modified bill on cryptocurrency in Parliament’s current Winter Session after Cabinet approval, and that money derived from bitcoin investments is taxed.
In a written response to the House on November 30, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “A bill on Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency has been placed in the Lok Sabha Bulletin-Part II as part of government business scheduled to be taken up.”
The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 aims to “provide a conducive framework for the formation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India.” The measure also aims to outlaw all private cryptocurrencies while allowing “for some exceptions to encourage the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its applications.”
PM Modi’s remarks came after he encouraged democratic nations to work together on November 18 to prevent the cryptocurrency from falling into the wrong hands.
The Prime Minister also chaired a meeting on the future of bitcoin and associated problems in the same month.
Officials stressed during their discussion with PM Modi that attempts to deceive the youth through over-promising, non-transparent advertising must be prevented, and that unregulated crypto markets must not be allowed to become conduits for money laundering and terror financing.
According to news agency PTI, there was agreement that the government’s actions in this area will be “progressive and forward-looking,” and that it will continue to engage proactively with experts and other stakeholders.
In 2019, the government organised an inter-ministerial committee on virtual currencies, which provided a report as well as a draught statute.
Last week, Nirmala Sitharaman urged for “joint global action” to ensure that ever-changing technologies and tech-driven payment systems are properly regulated.
Last week, Nirmala Sitharaman urged for “joint global action” to ensure that ever-changing technologies and tech-driven payment systems are properly regulated. She claims that regulators are simply “catching up” in terms of regulating ever-evolving technology, and that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
“Even as we think about at a national level, there should be a global mechanism through which we are constantly monitoring the movement of technology,” she said in a panel discussion on December 3. “Whether it is your cryptocurrency, whether it is a tech-driven payment system, data privacy, whether it is ensuring that data is used ethically, there should be a global mechanism through which we are constantly monitoring the movement of technology,” she said.
“When you look at data as a revenue-generating option, it will take a joint effort to manage it,” Sitharaman said.
The cryptocurrency law is one of 26 new bills on the government’s agenda for the Winter Session of Parliament, which runs from November 29 to December 23.