Bitcoin & Other Cryptocurrencies not Legal in INDIA – Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency – the system works without a central repository or single administrator.The network is peer-to-peer and transactions take place between users directly through the use of cryptography, without an intermediary.
India’s finance minister, Arun Jaitley, stated this during a recent parliamentary session. Bitcoins or such crypto-currencies are not legal tender and those indulging in such transactions are doing it at their own risk.
Jaitley emphasised that the Centre’s consistent position was that such currencies were not legal tender.
“The government is examining the matter. A committee under the chairmanship of secretary, department of economic affairs, is deliberating over all issues related to cryptocurrencies to propose specific actions to be taken,” he said.
Last month, the country’s Income Tax department investigated a minimum of nine Bitcoin exchanges for tax evasion. The agency then advised that they would issue notices to Bitcoin holders for the imposition of capital gains taxes Jaitley has said that the government had singled out 11 crypto exchanges. However, he did not give any reasons as to why they were identified, or if any investigations would be undertaken.
Jaitley responded that the government would not have “knee-jerk reactions” in response to requests for regulations. He added that research is currently being conducted by an interdisciplinary committee, which includes the country’s central bank, to determine the best course of action.
Even with the negativity surrounding Bitcoin in the country, the demand for it as higher than ever, which has previously resulted in its price being 20% more than the global average.