'I'm a little uncomfortable': KV Kamath trashes crypto, says he sees no value in the asset

'I'm a little uncomfortable': KV Kamath trashes crypto, says he sees no value in the asset

The veteran banker believes that central bank digital currency (CBDC) has to happen and blockchain could provide further efficiency in payments, but he remains skeptical on cryptocurrencies

KV Kamath is a veteran banker KV Kamath is a veteran banker

Even as various stakeholders, including the government, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), start-ups, investors, and various industry participants deliberate on the future of cryptocurrencies in India, veteran banker K V Kamath has said that he is skeptical about cryptos and doesn't see much value in the asset.

"I echo what the Reserve Bank of India governor says that as a banker I don't see value in that asset (crytos) so I'm a little uncomfortable... I'm a little sceptical," said Kamath, while replying to questions post a fireside chat at the Morningstar Investment Conference at Mumbai.

The veteran banker is currently the chairperson of National Bank for Infrastructure Development (NaBFID), a development finance institution.

Last year in October, the government had named Kamath as the chairperson of the then newly established development finance institution NaBFID as part of its attempts to channelise investments in the infrastructure sector. 

The entity was set up with an initial paid-up capital of Rs 20,000 crore.

The former head of ICICI Bank further said that while he is sceptical about cryptocurrencies, Central Bank Digital Currency has to happen.

"Central Bank Digital Currency has to happen. Crypto currency, I'm not very sure," he said.

Incidentally, Kamath's statements come even as the central government is finalising its views on cryptocurrencies to submit its response to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Mutual evaluation by early 2023.

The FATF Mutual evaluation report is an assessment of country’s measures to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Kamath, however, believes that one shouldn't look at cryptos and blockchain together and the latter could also help in making payments systems more efficient. 

"I hear crypto and blockchain being talked upon in one continuum. To me as an engineer, they are not in the same continuum. Blockchain is something else and can be used on its own... efficiency in payments has to happen. If blockchain is going to provide it, wonderful, said Kamath.

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