Just recently Bitcoin.com reported that the Indian government was soon planning to regulate bitcoin and the use of virtual currencies within the country. Now according to local reports, India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley held a private inter-ministerial meeting to discuss risks and concerns related to bitcoin regulation.
After Hearing Public Opinion Indian Bureaucrats Meet Privately to Discuss Bitcoin Regulation Risks and Benefits
Many bitcoin proponents are focused on India as they believe the country will be the next in line to recognize and regulate the decentralized currency much like Japan. There have been several meetings and discussions with lawmakers like Parliament member Kirit Somaiya, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and many other figureheads.
Kirit Somaiya has made some negative comments about bitcoin over Twitter in the past, but has recently listened to citizen feedback about regulating the cryptocurrency. This past March, Indian citizens were recently allowed to comment and send feedback on government bitcoin regulation to various politicians.
“I have taken up the issue of bitcoin at various levels, you may send your suggestions to me please,” explains Parliament member Kirit Somaiya this past spring via Twitter.
Many Senior Officials Attend Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Inter-Ministerial Meeting
Now according to sources familiar with Indian government officials, the Finance Minister Jaitley’s inter-ministerial meeting discussed bitcoin regulation after hearing the public’s opinion. Attendees of the meeting included Economic Affairs Secretary Tapan Ray, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya, Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Financial Services Secretary Anjuly Chib Duggal, and a variety of other Indian lawmakers.
Although Indian bureaucrats like Kirit Somaiya are skeptical of bitcoin, Jaitley has asked fellow lawmakers and citizens in the past to embrace the digital age and prepare for a cashless “mission mode” after last November’s demonetization. “Some of the banks have already had a lot of success, contrary to the argument which is made within the political system that Indians are not well adapted to this mode,” Jaitley said at the time.
India’s Media Headlines Say Bitcoin Regulation is Favorable Among Officials
Regulating virtual currencies in India has brought a lot of attention to the country’s official stance on bitcoin. This past April, legislators created a committee dedicated to researching the various risks and benefits in regards to India legally recognizing the cryptocurrency. On June 20 Bitcoin.com reported on a local Indian CNBC broadcast that stated most of the committee members said they were in favor of regulatory guidelines for virtual currencies.
It seems from Indian news outlets, and regional publication headlines, the Finance Ministry, Jaitley, and the Interdisciplinary Committee will be revealing the outcome of bitcoin regulation soon. Sources say no official decisions were made at Jaitley’s private event but “several issues concerning bitcoin were discussed.”