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Crypto Bill In Circulation Old, New Draft Will Be There: Finance Minister

Crypto Bill In Circulation Old, New Draft Will Be There: Finance Minister

Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the Centre has no proposal to recognise Bitcoin as a currency.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the risk of cryptocurrency going in the wrong hands is being monitored. The Minister also stated that there is no decision to stop advertisements of digital currencies.

Ms Sitharaman also said there were extensive discussions on the regulatory capacity of cryptocurrencies and "let's wait for the Bill".

"There were other dimensions and the old Bill had to be reworked and now we are trying to work on a new Bill," she added.

Replying to a series of questions in the Rajya Sabha, Ms Sitharaman said, "This Bill, once the Cabinet clears, will come into the house".

The government had also listed a similar Bill for the last Parliament session (monsoon) but it was not taken up.

"The earlier attempt was definitely to come up with a Bill that the house can consider. But, later, because rapidly a lot of things had to come into play, we had started working on a new Bill. This is the Bill that is now being proposed," she said adding that there was a "genuine attempt" to bring the Bill even during the monsoon session.

The minister also said cryptocurrencies are unregulated in India and the government does not collect data on transactions in cryptocurrency.

Ms Sitharaman also said the government, RBI and Sebi have been cautioning people about the cryptocurrencies that could be a "high risk" area and "more can be done" to create awareness.

Ms Sitharaman, on Monday, had said that the Centre has no proposal to recognise Bitcoin as a currency in the country. She also mentioned that the government does not collect data on Bitcoin transactions.

The government had said that it has received a proposal from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to include digital currency under the definition of a 'bank note'.

In October, the RBI had introduced the proposal of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

CBDCs -- digital or virtual currency -- are basically the digital version of fiat currencies, for instance, rupee in India.

Meanwhile, the RBI has repeatedly raised concerns over cryptocurrencies posing macro-economic and financial stability risks.