Former Indian Gov’t Official Shaktikanta Das: Crypto “Should Not Be Allowed At All”

Shaktikanta Das, former Secretary of Economic Affairs of India, who is currently a member of the 15th Finance Commission, claimed in an interview with Quartz India that cryptocurrencies should be banned since it is impossible

to regulate [them] effectively,

as reported on March 12.

Das, a retired officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), has participated in the development of India’s cryptocurrency regulations as a member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI). In April 2017, Das headed the first government panel aiming to formulate cryptocurrency regulations for the country.

According to Das, the main problem with cryptocurrencies is that they are not backed by any assets. In an interview with Quartz, Das unfavorably compared shares that represent the value of a real company to cryptocurrency assets that are

created out of vacuum

and

thin air.

Das argued that RBI is the only body that is legally allowed to issue currency in India, hence digital currencies are illegal.

Shaktikanta Das concluded that there is no way to regulate cryptocurrency

effectively,

and that is why it

should not be allowed at all.

Let us accept that it would not be possible to regulate it effectively. Because they will do transactions from their houses. You cannot enter every home to check what transactions are going on. So, I think this is a serious challenge, and this should not be allowed at all.

On the other hand, some experts from India believe that the full ban on cryptocurrency would only bring more problems. Anirudh Rastogi, the managing partner at the TRA law firm, said to Quartz that enforcing a ban would make tracking cryptocurrency transactions even harder for the government.

Rastogi also claims that India cannot simply ban cryptocurrencies when

two or three of the largest economies are giving it legitimacy,

because that would make the country

an outlier

, which, in turn, will

have an adverse impact

on the financial system.

The government of India has taken a negative stance towards cryptocurrencies in recent months. On Feb. 28, cryptocurrency exchanges BTCXIndia and ETHEXIndia halted trading activities, reportedly resulting from government pressure.

Back in 2017, India’s Ministry of Finance claimed that Bitcoin and the other digital currencies are

like Ponzi schemes

and warned investors about the high risks of getting involved in cryptocurrencies.

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