Cryp­tocur­ren­cies ‘too com­plex to reg­u­late and should be banned’

Tehran Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

In­dia should ban cryp­tocur­ren­cies like bit­coin out­right rather than even at­tempt to reg­u­late them, one of the coun­try’s most in­flu­en­tial fi­nan­cial ex­perts has ar­gued.

The busi­ness of polic­ing the ever-chang­ing vir­tual cur­rency mar­ket - now com­prised of over 1,500 va­ri­eties of coin - and mon­i­tor­ing pri­vate and anony­mous trans­ac­tions is so fraught with com­pli­ca­tions that In­dia would be bet­ter off pro­hibit­ing them al­to­gether, ex-Eco­nomic Af­fairs Sec­re­tary Shak­tikanta Das has said. “Let us ac­cept that it would not be pos­si­ble to reg­u­late it ef­fec­tively. Be­cause they will do trans­ac­tions from their houses,” he said in an in­ter­view with Quartz.

“You can­not en­ter ev­ery home to check what trans­ac­tions are go­ing on. So, I think this is a se­ri­ous chal­lenge, and should not be al­lowed at all.”

The Re­serve Bank of In­dia, the coun­try’s cen­tral bank, has long op­posed cryp­tocur­ren­cies, say­ing as early as 2013 that it con­sid­ered them a se­cu­rity risk and ad­vis­ing cit­i­zens against in­vest­ing in de­cen­tralised cur­ren­cies with­out an as­set base, reser­va­tions shared by fel­low Asian su­per­pow­ers China and South Korea.

Das him­self served on one in­ves­tiga­tive com­mit­tee that ex­pressed clear op­po­si­tion to bit­coin and its kind - an­other is cur­rently in con­fer­ence re­view­ing the sit­u­a­tion.

This is a par­al­lel cur­rency sys­tem de­vel­op­ing and it is not le­gal. There is no le­gal pro­vi­sion which backs up these trans­ac­tions,” Das said.

“There is the dan­ger of cryp­tocur­ren­cies lead­ing to money laun­der­ing, ter­ror fi­nanc­ing and un­ac­counted trans­ac­tions.

“It will pose a se­ri­ous threat to the fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity not only of In­dia, and in fact more, in the case of the de­vel­oped world.

“It’s a se­ri­ous chal­lenge and threat to global fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity,” he added.

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