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Trading In Crypto-currencies Illegal: India's FM

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India's Finance Minister has made it clear that crypto-currencies are not legal tender in the country, and those indulging in such transactions are doing it at their own risk.

Arun Jaitley was responding to a question in the Upper House of Parliament if the government was considering regulating crypto-currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

"The government is examining the matter. A committee under the chairmanship of secretary, department of economic affairs, is deliberating over all issues related to cryptocurrencies to propose specific actions to be taken," he told the Rajyasabha.

The government would take steps on the matter after getting an expert panel report on cryptocurrencies, he said.

Jaitley recalled that the government and the Reserve Bank of India have alerted the public time and again through multiple notifications that bitcoins and other forms of virtual currencies will not be considered lawful or legal tender in India.

India is estimated to account for more than 11 per cent of such trade globally.

Besides India, the central banks of China and South Korea have warned investors against betting on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The central banks of Indonesia and Bangladesh have also banned the use of bitcoin as a payment tool, while South Korea has banned ICOs as a way of raising money.

In Japan, however, companies have started offering to pay salaries in bitcoin.

Despite increased scrutiny and regulation across the globe, the price of bitcoin has soared 1300 percent in 2017.

The most recent spike was spurred by the launch of bitcoin future trading in two American exchanges, providing the cryptocurrency with a greater level of credibility in the financial world.

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