RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das Reiterates 'Serious' Concerns Around Cryptocurrencies

The RBI governor reiterated concerns around cryptocurrencies and called for a deeper debate.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>A coin representing Bitcoin cryptocurrency. (Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg)</p></div>
A coin representing Bitcoin cryptocurrency. (Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg)

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das reiterated the central bank's concerns around cryptocurrencies. Das, speaking at the State Bank of India's economic conclave, said that there is a need for a much deeper discussion on these tokens.

"When the central bank says we have serious concerns from the point of view of macroeconomic stability and financial stability, there are far deeper issues involved," said Das. "I'm yet to see serious well-informed discussion on these issues in the public domain."

He said the Reserve Bank is entrusted with ensuring financial stability of the economy and, after due internal deliberations, when it says that there are serious concerns, there are issues which need much deeper discussion.

Das went on to say that blockchain technology can and will grow even without cryptocurrencies.

His comments come at a time when the government is still working on a legislation around cryptocurrencies, which was earlier intended to impose a ban on these tokens. Since then a rethink is underway.

Over the weekend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi led a review meeting on digital currencies. India is planning progressive and forward-looking measures on issues related to cryptocurrencies, Bloomberg reported.

On Monday, the Standing Committee on Finance also met with industry representatives. Das declined to comment on the proceedings of the committee.

The central bank has maintained a tough stance on cryptocurrencies for years now. In 2018, the central barred banks and other financial institutions from facilitating transactions involving cryptocurrencies. This circular, however, was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2020 on grounds of proportionality.

More recently, the RBI issued an advisory to financial institutions to ensure that banks and financial institutions follow anti money laundering and know-you-customer requirements in any dealings related to cryptocurrencies.