India is still having a tough time deciding if it wants to allow crypto in its future or not. One of the people casting doubt on whether digital currencies have a space in the later years of India is Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who last Monday explained in an interview that money laundering is a big concern amongst her constituents.
India Is Worried about Crypto Money Laundering
She believes that money laundering and other illicit crimes are too big to ignore, and thus pose heavy threats in the world of digital currencies. She stated:
The biggest risk for all countries across the board will be the aspect of money laundering and that of such currency being used for financing terror.
At a seminar for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Sitharaman further explained:
I think regulation using technology is the only answer. Regulation using technology will have to be so adept that it needs to be not behind the curve but be sure that it is on the top of it, and that’s not possible if any one country thinks that it can handle it. It needs to be across the board.
She says that India has been working hard to adopt a fully digital environment over the past few years, but that efforts ultimately doubled during the time of the coronavirus pandemic. She commented:
If I use 2019 data, the digital adoption rate in India is about 85 percent, but globally, it was only somewhere near 64 percent the same year, so the pandemic time helped us to test and prove for ourselves that it is simple to use, common people can use it, and adoption was proven.
She further stated that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is working hard to create a digital version of the rupee, which is India’s native currency, and that a plan for crypto taxation is being discussed in the current session of Parliament.
For many years, the country of India has had a very up and down relationship with crypto, with the RBI first stating in 2018 that banks and standard financial institutions could not provide services to blockchain and crypto companies.
However, two years later, the Supreme Court for the nation decided that this was unconstitutional, and it appeared like India was going to be a major crypto haven in the coming years. However, it wasn’t long before a full ban of all crypto activity began entering the debate halls, and while no moves have been made pushing India in that direction yet, the atmosphere is still cloudy.
No Plans to Dispel of Crypto?
Sitharaman finished her statement with:
Of course, the Supreme Court has commented on cryptocurrency, and while the RBI may take a call on the official cryptocurrency, from our end, we are very clear that we are not shutting off all options.