Union Budget 2018: Jaitley Says Cryptocurrency Not a Legal Tender 
Bitcoin, the world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, has seen a more than fifteenfold surge in its value since the start of the year.
Bitcoin, the world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, has seen a more than fifteenfold surge in its value since the start of the year.(Photo: The Quint)

Union Budget 2018: Jaitley Says Cryptocurrency Not a Legal Tender 

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reaffirmed his stance on cryptocurrency while reading out the Union Budget 2018 on Thursday, 1 February.

Bitcoins or such cryptocurrencies are not legal tender and those indulging in such transactions are doing it at their own risk, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in front of the Parliament.

The government does not consider cryptocurrency as legal tender and will make all efforts to eliminate it.
Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister 

Earlier this year, Jaitley said that a committee will be set up to take specific actions against anyone who is involved in such transactions. Jaitley, however, said that blockchain, the underlying technology of the cryptocurrencies, could aid the government in easing the process for various public welfare measures.

He further said that taking cognisance of concerns raised at various fora from time to time on the increasing use of virtual currencies (VCs) and the regulatory challenges, the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) constituted a committee with representations from the DEA, the Department of Financial Services (DFS), the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the RBI, the Niti Aayog and the SBI. The committee has submitted its report and it is being examined.

The Indian government’s decision to go against the rise of cryptocurrency comes at a time when other nations like South Korea and China have decided to curb its popularity.

(With PTI inputs)