Indian MPs Express Fears About Bitcoin



According to a report in the Times of India, MPs at Thursday’s Parliamentary Standing Committee of Finance meeting had serious questions about Bitcoin’s potential use as a vehicle for terror financing and criminal activities. While many of their questions had been raised by individual members in recent months, this meeting saw concerns raised by politicians representing a diverse range of political views.

In addition to questions that focused on the cryptocurrency’s potential for serving as a funding mechanism for terror, MPs also expressed fears that digital currency could provide a new way for criminals to cycle so-called “black money” or engage in other illicit schemes. One member, Kirit Somaiya, is reported to have questioned the government’s failure to properly clarify digital currency’s legal status within India.

Recent ransomware attacks involving the WannaCry virus were apparently on some members’ minds as well, as Trinamool Congress party member Dinesh Trivedi offered his own perspective on digital currency’s role in those types of cyber activities:

“Today, data is the new oil and Bitcoin is the ransom finance platform.”

Many of the gathered members also reportedly urged officials from the finance ministry to further investigate digital currency technology and try to identify potential vulnerabilities. At the same time, MPs asked the ministry officials to resist calls to formally legalize Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

That request comes at a time when the government has invited members of the public to express their opinions on the future role of digital currency in India. The nation’s officials are currently accepting public comments through the MyGov discussion platform, as well as suggestions for how the currencies should be regulated in the event that they are given legal status. That public comment period will end on May 31.

The views expressed by the authors on this site do not necessarily represent the views of DCEBrief or the management team.

Author: Ken Chase

Freelance writer whose interests include topics ranging from technology and finance to politics, fitness, and all things canine. Aspiring polymath, semi-professional skeptic, and passionate advocate for the judicious use of the Oxford comma.

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1 Comment

  1. First of all, you can’t cut off Bitcoin.
    It will stay, whatever you will do.
    If you don’t legalize it, it will have a larger black market.
    This means higher price than where it is legalized.
    People victims of ransomware will have to pay more for Bitcoin than people where it is legal and current currency.
    And even if you make it completely illegal, other crypto will arise. More anonymous, more difficult to trace.
    Cryptocurrencies are a beast that has been unleashed and nobody can stop them.
    The right way to deal with ransomware is INFORMATION. People must become AWARE of what the hell they are doing when they use a PC or a smartphone. They must install an antivirus and use every common precaution a good IT guy knows. It doesn’t take ages to learn, it’s basic measures that everybody should know.
    So put in place seminars to help people how to protect themselves from ransomwares, and they will also be protected from the NSA and other agencies…

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