Regulating crypto will take time to ensure the government takes a considered approach, Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at Stanford University on Wednesday.

See related article: Indians see future in crypto, government sees revenue, FM says

Fast facts

  • “We recognize that there is a lot of potential and already well-grounded progress made in the distributed ledger technologies,” Sitharaman said. 
  • Therefore, the government does not intend to “hurt these” innovations or to “say that we don’t need it,” she added.
  • But cryptocurrencies can be used for illicit purposes like money laundering and financing terrorism, which is why the government needs time to figure out “in what ways their growth should be facilitated and how are we going to handle them,” Sitharaman said.
  • “There is impatience in the outside world saying, ‘What are you doing about crypto?’ I can understand impatience, but I’m sorry, that’s how it’s going to be,” she added.
  • Bringing in regulation “will have to take its time” to ensure the government takes a “discerned decision” based on available information, “it can’t be rushed through,” she said.
  • India’s cryptocurrency bill, which aimed to ban all private cryptocurrencies, was listed on the agenda for the winter parliamentary session last year but was never tabled.

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