Cryptocurrency finds mention in Indian PM Narendra Modi’s Sydney address

Indian PM Narendra Modi called on democratic countries to work together to prevent cryptocurrency misuse in his Sydney Dialogue Keynote address.
Indian PM Narendra Modi called on countries to work together to prevent cryptocurrency misuse. Credit: The Sydney Dialogue

Key Takeaways

  • Indian PM Narendra Modi called for countries to work together to prevent cryptocurrency misuse
  • Modi was giving the keynote address at the Sydney Dialogue on emerging technologies
  • India is set to table a bill in the Crypto Regulations Bill in the parliament during the coming winter session

YEREVAN (CoinChapter.com) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hinted at a possible cryptocurrency adoption and regulation by his Government. During his keynote address at the Sydney Dialogue earlier today, Modi touched on the growing cryptocurrency industry. He called on all democratic nations to work together to ensure cryptocurrency “does not end up in wrong hands.” However, Modi also acknowledged the inevitable dawn of the digital age.

The Sydney Dialogue is a global summit for emerging technologies and cyber security. It is the brainchild of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. 

“We are in a time of change that happens once in an eraThe digital age is changing everything around us. It has redefined politics, economy and society. It is raising new questions on sovereignty, governance, ethics, law, rights and security, reshaping international competition, power and leadership,” 

the Indian Premiere said.

The Indian Prime Minister also stressed the importance for democracies to work together to invest in the research and development of future tech.

“We are at a historic moment of choice – whether all the wonderful powers of technology of our age will be instruments of cooperation or conflict, coercion or choice, domination or development, oppression or opportunity,” 

Modi added during the summit.
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Indian Parliamentary Committee favors cryptocurrencies 

On Monday, representatives of the Indian crypto industry met the Indian Parliamentary standing committee on finance. This was the first such inclusive meeting organized by the Indian lawmakers to discuss the future of crypto in the country. During the meeting, participants made submissions and gave presentations on the various aspects of cryptocurrency adoption and regulation. 

The Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC), the country’s information and technology institutes, and other stakeholders also attended. The panel is chaired by the ruling BJP leader Jayant Sinha, who formerly served as the junior minister of finance in the Indian Government.

Speaking to CNBC in the aftermath of the meeting, Mr. Sinha acknowledged the different use cases for blockchain and distributed ledger technology. However, the parliamentarian also expressed fears about the various challenges from the “game-changing technology.

“My own personal views on this matter is I believe that every time we have these kinds of path-breaking, game-changing technologies, it is very important to balance innovation and regulation,” 

he said.
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Narendra Modi is not against crypto

This is the first time the Indian PM has made any public statement on cryptocurrencies. According to the latest signals coming from Indian authorities, Modi’s Government does not favor a blanket ban on the industry. However, there are still concerns about the impact legalization will have on the Indian economy. Additionally, fears of misuse for terror activities are also high on India’s list of concerns.

On Saturday, Narendra Modi had chaired a similar meeting with competent authorities. The high-profile meeting aimed at chalking out a path for the regulation of cryptocurrencies in India. During the meeting, the Indian premiere had expressed concerns about misleading crypto advertisements and the misuse of the technology. He mentioned this concern again in the Sydney Dialogue today.

However, local media channels reported the meeting to have concluded on a positive note. ANI News, for example, quoted a source suggesting that the current Government will not stifle cryptocurrencies.

“There was consensus also that the steps taken in the field of cryptocurrency and related issues by the government will be progressive and forward-looking. The government will continue to pro-actively engage with the experts and other stakeholders,” 

ANI News published. 
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India to table Cryptocurrency Regulations Bill

India is likely to table the Cryptocurrency Regulations Bill in the Indian Parliament in the Winter Session due to begin on 24 Nov. Lawmakers will try to clear the bill before the Budget Session of the Parliament, which is usually held from February to May every year. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had confirmed in Aug that her department was working on a new bill that would define the status of the ambiguous industry in the country. 

“Cabinet note is ready on cryptocurrency bill. I am awaiting Cabinet to clear that,” 

she had said.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s apex banking institution, strongly opposed cryptocurrencies. However, the Supreme Court in March had struck down a circular issued by the RBI that prohibited banks from dealing in transactions involving cryptocurrency.

Later in June, the Reserve Bank clarified that banks could no longer refer to its April 2018 circular to deny services to customers dealing in cryptocurrencies owing to the court’s ruling.

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India approves first cryptocurrency-related ETF 

Earlier this week, India’s Securities and Exchange Board (SEBI) gave the nod to the Invesco CoinShares Global Blockchain ETF Fund of Fund (FoF). The ETF will be the first to offer Indian investors exposure to global companies involved in the cryptocurrency industry.

However, the company announced on Wednesday that it had deferred the launch of Invesco CoinShares Global Blockchain ETF Fund of Funds (FoF), owing to uncertainty around the cryptocurrency regulations in India.

With the winter session of the Indian Parliament just days away, the world looks to India to take a positive stance viz a viz cryptocurrencies. 

Until then, the chairman of the Indian Parliamentary standing committee, Jayant Sinha, has sent out positive signals. But, according to the lawmaker, “it is very important to harness the force of this crypto technology and enable it for our domestic users in an appropriate, balanced way.”

With a population of 1.3 billion people, India’s decision will greatly impact the entire ecosystem. 

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