The Indian government has no plans to accept bitcoin as a currency, according to finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday. India is Not the Only Country That Regulates Bitcoin
This week, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that her department will not consider bitcoin as a legal tender. Additionally, she said that “the government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payments system,” according to a report from Quartz India.
The Indian government added that “the absence of counterparties in the usage of crypto-assets for transfer of value, coupled with rising cyber security vulnerabilities, makes it a losing proposition.” The finance ministry added: “In view of the associated risks, government has decided that crypto-assets will not be used for any payments and transactions in the settlement of accounts.”
India is Not the Only Country That Regulates Bitcoin
Contrary to what may seem, India is not the only country that has taken measures against bitcoin. The National Assembly of Ecuador banned bitcoin back in 2014, while China approved a plan to prohibit bitcoin exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs). Additionally, the government of Bolivia announced in February that it is working on a project that would allow the central bank to issue its own ‘digital currency’.
Secretary of Economic Policy Coordination at Mexico’s Finance Ministry, Juan Carlos Baker, said during an interview on Friday that his department will not recognize bitcoin as a currency.
“At the national level, we will not recognize bitcoin as an official currency because it is a cryptocurrency and should be viewed and supervised as such,” he said during an interview with local news outlet El Universal.
Still to Be Decided: How Will Bitcoin Be Taxed?
The Indian government stated that “the absence of a counterparty in the usage of crypto assets for transfer of value, coupled with rising cyber security vulnerabilities, makes it a losing proposition.”
In the coming months, the Indian government will have to decide how to tax bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In December 2017, India’s income-tax department sent notices to at least 200,000 cryptocurrency investors ordering them to pay tax on their bitcoin investments.
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