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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Twitter account was hacked on Sunday morning. Several users shared screenshots of the hacked Twitter account which claimed that “India has officially adopted bitcoin as legal tender.” The now deleted tweet read: “India has officially adopted bitcoin as legal tender. The government has officially purchased 500 BTC and is distributing them to all residents of the country.” However, the account was later recovered and the Prime Minister’s Office said the tweets should be ignored.

The claim made via the Prime Minister’s personal Twitter account is emblematic of what many believe makes cryptocurrencies because they are currently so unreliable – bogus and exaggerated promises and a sensitivity to volatility that is unwanted in currencies. The cryptocurrency debate in India has recently gained momentum. The Center had said it had made no decision to ban cryptocurrency advertisements, but still expressed that the digital token market is a “risk area.” This was mentioned in the Rajya Sabha by the Union Minister of Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman. The government also claimed that several cryptocurrency-related frauds were under investigation.

“It is a risky area and not within a full regulatory framework. No decision has been taken on banning its advertisements. Steps are being taken to raise awareness through RBI and SEBI,” Sitharaman said.

Sitharaman added that the guidelines of the Advertising Standards Council of India are under review and their regulations are also being reviewed in the context of advertisements disseminated by cryptocurrency exchanges. She said the regulations are being reviewed “so that we can take, if necessary, some sort of a position or a decision to see how we can manage it.”

Center Excludes Cryptocurrency Ban; soon present a regulatory bill

The Finance Minister added that the Center will introduce the Cryptocurrency and Official Digital Currency Regulation Bill, 2021 during the current winter session of Parliament. The bill aims to introduce regulations on cryptocurrency transactions in India. The cryptocurrency bill has been included in the Lok Sabha Bulletin-Part II, as part of the government’s plan to present it during the current winter session. It will create a framework to facilitate the creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). In addition, the Minister of Finance informed that the RBI is also proposing a phased implementation strategy for the introduction of central bank digital currency (CBDC).

“The introduction of the CBDC has the potential to offer significant benefits, such as reduced reliance on cash, higher seigniorage due to lower transaction costs, reduced settlement risk. The introduction of the CBDC could also lead to a more robust, efficient, reliable, regulated and legal tender based payment option. There are also associated risks that must be carefully weighed against the potential benefits, ”Sitharaman said. At the same time, the Center clarified that the CBDC will not have volatility associated with private cryptocurrencies as it will be backed by the RBI.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also chaired a meeting and raised the issue of deceptive and non-transparent advertising related to cryptocurrency. The meeting took place after a consultative process led by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Interior. While claiming that crypto markets cannot be allowed to become avenues for money laundering and terrorist financing, sources said the Center will continue to engage with all stakeholders.

“It (the global collaboration between countries) should also recognize national rights and at the same time promote trade, investment and the wider public good. Take for example cryptocurrency or bitcoins. It is important that all democratic nations are working together on this and making sure it does not fall into the wrong hands which can spoil our youth. “

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday insisted on jointly developing global standards for emerging technologies such as social media and cryptocurrencies, so that they are used to strengthen democracy, not undermine it. He was speaking virtually to the “Summit for Democracy” organized by US President Joe Biden. He noted that the meeting provides a timely platform to strengthen cooperation among democracies.

“We can learn a lot from each other. We all need to constantly improve our democratic systems and practices. And we all need to continually improve inclusion, transparency, human dignity, redress of grievances and decentralization of power,” did he declare.

“In this context, today’s assembly provides a timely platform to strengthen cooperation between democracies. India would be happy to share its expertise in holding free and fair elections and improving transparency in all areas of governance through innovative digital solutions. shaping global standards for emerging technologies like social media and cryptocurrencies, so that they are used to strengthen democracy, not undermine it, ”he added.

With contributions from agencies

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