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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has clarified that the government is still formulating its opinion on cryptocurrency and will take a calibrated position.

The clarification comes at a time there is speculation in the market the government will move against cryptocurrency amid a global crackdown on it. At the same time, there is a growing acceptance among various companies and governments across the globe who are ready to experiment with digital payment using various blockchain technologies.

According to Arvian Research, the remarks suggested that the government may not impose a blanked ban on cryptocurrency.

Blanket ban

“The government doesn’t want a blanket ban on the new digital payment methods availing blockchain technology. Many negotiations and discussions are happening with the RBI because the Supreme court order had very clearly told that the government has to take a call on the matter,” states Arvian Research.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made it clear that she didn’t want to give any clue on the issue before the Cabinet takes a call on it.

“Obviously the RBI will be taking a call on what kind of official currency, cryptocurrency will have to be planned and how it has to be regulated,” said. It is interesting to note that the SC in March 2020 had quashed the ban imposed by RBI related to cryptocurrency in India.

“But also we want to make sure there is a window available for all kinds of experiments which will have to take place in the crypto world. It is not as if we are going to look inwards and say we are not going to have any of this,” said Nirmala Sitharaman.

Calibrated position

The Finance Minister also said there will be a very calibrated position from the Indian government as the world over there is a mixed message on the issue. “I don’t think there is a complete go this way or that way in this matter,” said the Minister

“We will have to take a very calibrated position. The world is moving fast with technology. We cannot pretend we don’t want it. At the same time, we have to recognise with fintech we led the way. Many countries are looking at us for fintech-based steps and the kind of things we have done in the payment duniya,” she said.

Nirmala Sitharaman then summarised her remarks by stating that the government is open to experimentation. “I can only give you this clue that we are not closing our minds. We are certainly looking at ways in which experimentation can happen in the digital world and cryptocurrency,” she added.

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