India prime minister Narendra Modi’s Twitter account was hacked on Sunday morning, with the attacker posting a false tweet about India officially adopting Bitcoin as legal tender.

Fast facts

  • The tweet also said the government has bought 500 Bitcoin which will be distributed among citizens.
  • This was the second instance of Modi’s Twitter account getting compromised — his account was among those affected alongside Elon Musk, Joe Biden and Barack Obama during a massive Twitter hack last year. The false tweet was quickly taken down and another tweet was posted to confirm that the account had been secured.
  • India’s crypto community has been on edge for weeks as they await the introduction of a regulatory crypto bill in the ongoing session of parliament. The proposed crypto bill will be introduced after it is approved by the union cabinet. Reports suggest the bill will impose heavy penalties for infractions including fines of up to US$2.65 million and jail-time for up to 18 months.
  • According to a report by the Economic Times, however, certain arms of the government want more discussions on the principles underlying the bill and how it intends to treat cryptocurrencies. The report said there is a difference of opinion among crypto stakeholders, including the central bank, which has consistently called for a ban, regarding the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. There are three suggested paths that the government can adopt — a complete ban, a partial ban (which would allow all crypto products with regulation) or a limited number of crypto products with regulation. The prime minister is expected to take the final call on the regulatory approach, the report said.