RBI governor Shaktikanta Das has once again underlined the concerns around cryptocurrencies, calling them a threat to any financial system, at least till they are regulated. The Reserve Bank of India chief expressed his views during an event. He said that cryptocurrencies are serious threats to the macroeconomic and financial stability of the country and also doubted the number of investors trading on them as well as their claimed market value.
The comments come amid reports suggesting that the government is planning to regulate digital currencies through a bill which can be tabled during the upcoming Budget. Das has also expressed his views ahead of the RBI's internal panel report on the contentious topic which is expected next month.
Cryptocurrencies are a serious concern to the RBI from a macroeconomic and financial stability standpoint. The government is actively looking at the issue and will decide on it. But as the central banker, we have serious concerns about it and we have flagged it many times," Das said during an event, according to PTI.
The RBI chief, who has been a critic of cryptocurrencies, also questioned the actual number of crypto investors in the country. This came in response to a recent report which suggested that more than 10 crore Indians own cryptocurrencies. Several homegrown crypto platforms have also dismissed the report, claiming that the number is not any more than 2 crore.
"I am not sure about the veracity of these numbers. Of course my view may not be fully right as we don't get full information about these currencies as they aren't regulated by us or by any other central bank. But I still think the number of investors look clearly exaggerated as bulk of them, say over 70 per cent, have invested only about Rs 1,000 each in cryptocurrencies," Das said.
Earlier this year, when the government had a stronger stance on cryptocurrencies, the RBI had expressed its intent to introduce an official digital currency for India. Back then, the RBI chief said that a committee was working to decide on the model of the central bank digital currency.
It will be interesting to see whether RBI still brings a digital rupee if the government decides not to ban the existing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
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