Indian Finance Minister Calls for Global Crypto Regulation, Denies Currency Status

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Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman discussing the need for global cryptocurrency regulations at a G20 meeting.


Indian Finance Minister’s Stance on Cryptocurrencies

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has made a strong declaration regarding Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies, clearly stating that they do not qualify as currencies. She has called upon the G20 — an intergovernmental forum that includes 19 countries, the European Union (EU), and the African Union (AU) — to come together to establish a regulatory framework for digital assets. Sitharaman’s assertions underline the perception of cryptocurrencies mainly as vehicles for trading, speculation, and profit rather than as traditional currencies issued by central banks.

The Need for International Regulatory Efforts

Sitharaman highlighted the importance of collaborative international efforts to craft robust regulations for cryptocurrencies. The absence of such regulations, she argues, has far-reaching consequences, potentially affecting cross-border payments and facilitating illegal activities such as drug trafficking and terrorism. Through her involvement in G20 discussions, Sitharaman is pushing for a unified approach to managing the challenges presented by digital assets.

RBI’s Cautious Approach Towards Cryptocurrencies

While the Indian government recognizes the potential of blockchain technology, it remains skeptical about cryptocurrencies due to their volatile and speculative nature. Cryptocurrencies do not have legal tender status in India, and there are no specific regulations governing them. The introduction of the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill highlights the government’s stance on the need for a global consensus on cryptocurrency regulation.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das has echoed these concerns, emphasizing the importance of regulatory measures to ensure financial stability. Das has pointed out the lack of intrinsic value in cryptocurrencies and the necessity of protecting India’s financial sovereignty from the disruptions that unregulated cryptocurrency transactions might cause. The RBI’s strategy includes issuing warnings and promoting a cautious regulatory approach to maintain the resilience and security of India’s financial system amid the evolving landscape of digital assets.


The stance of Indian officials, from the Finance Minister to the RBI Governor, underscores a global call for action to regulate cryptocurrencies effectively. By emphasizing the need for international cooperation and a cautious regulatory approach, India aims to safeguard its financial ecosystem while navigating the complex and dynamic world of digital assets.


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