During the first-ever meeting of the parliamentary panel on cryptocurrency, there was a consensus that crypto and blockchain technology cannot be stopped and, hence, it needs to be regulated, sources said.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, under the chairmanship of BJP leader Jayant Sinha, met representatives of crypto exchanges, industry bodies and other stakeholders to discuss cryptocurrencies. The subject, of late, has generated a lot of interest as well as concerns in various quarters around investment potential and risks.
In the parliamentary meeting, there was a consensus that a regulatory mechanism should be put in place to regulate cryptocurrencies. However, industry association and stakeholders were not clear about who the regulator should be, the sources said.
The Members of Parliament (MPs) on the panel also raised concerns about the security of investors' money and flagged the appearance of full-page advertisements in national dailies promoting cryptocurrencies, the sources added.
The MPs also want government officials to appear before the panel to address their concerns, news agency ANI reported citing sources. However, it didn't say which government officials will be called.
Also Read: PM Modi chairs meeting on cryptocurrencies; govt to engage with experts, stakeholders
Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also chaired a meeting on cryptocurrencies and other related issues.
While the RBI has time and again cautioned investors on the potential pitfalls of cryptocurrencies, the Indian government has so far been following the middle path of looking to strictly control while also promoting the use of blockchain technologies.
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das last week reiterated his views against cryptocurrencies, saying they are a serious threat to any financial system since they are unregulated by central banks.
His comments came ahead of the RBI's internal panel report on the contentious topic which is expected next month.
The Supreme Court in early March 2020 had nullified the RBI circular banning cryptocurrencies. Following this, the central bank on February 5, 2021 instituted an internal panel to suggest a model for the usage of cryptocurrencies, as well as the way forward for the central bank to come out with its own digital currency.
The RBI has announced its intent to come out with an official digital currency in the face of proliferation of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin about which it has many concerns.
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