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Govt hardens stance against bitcoin, says crypto currency not a legal tender

Thursday February 1, 2018 8:01 PM, News Network

Jaitley about Bitcoin

New Delhi:
Hardening stance against bitcoin, Narendra Modi government on Thursday said crypto currency is not a legal tender.

“Crypto-currency is not a legal tender”, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely said in the parliament while presenting the general budget for the year 2018-19.

“But if you earn profit even from an illegal activity, it is still taxable”, he added.

This is not the first time Modi government has issued warnings against the crypto-currencies, especially bitcoin.

Earlier in the past while highlighting the risk involved in such transactions, Arul Jaitley and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) both had warned against bitcoin and other crypto-currencies.

The Reserve Bank has been repeatedly saying since late 2013 that they possess "potential financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks".

"There is no underlying or backing of any asset for virtual-currencies. As such, their value seems to be a matter of speculation. Huge volatility in the value of VCs has been noticed in the recent past. Thus, the users are exposed to potential losses on account of such volatility in value," the central bank had said in a December 24, 2013 note.

The RBI in its first comments against VCs in September 2013 had said, "The creation, trading or usage of VCs including Bitcoins, as a medium for payment are not authorised by any central bank or monetary authority. No regulatory approvals, registration or authorisation is stated to have been obtained by the entities concerned for carrying on such activities."

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