Business

Bitcoin startups want to hold discussion on virtual currency


New Delhi, Apr 16 (DH): Days after the government set up a committee to suggest measures to deal with virtual currencies such as bitcoin including their use in money laundering, a body of bitcoin start ups have sought an audience with the panel to give a presentation on the benefits of virtual currencies in financial inclusion, cheaper cross-border remittance among others.

“We have seen that in countries where governments have come out with a self-regulation policy, created an environment for the bitcoin/ blockchain technology to grow, those countries have become the epicentre for innovation. Investments have started pouring in and next generation, new edge technology developments, user-friendly products and a new breed of entrepreneurs have developed, Digital Asset and Blockchain Foundation of India (DABFI) said in a statement.

Bitcoin startups Zebpay, Unocoin, Coinsecure and Searchtrade have jointly launched DABFI. Though Japan recently declared bitcoin as a currency, India is still debating whether a currency can be launched bu a certain individuals or only by a sovereign government.

The issue was recently raised in Parliament where BJP MP Kirit Somaiya had raised concerns on the lack of regulatory structure around bitcoin.

During demonetisation, bitcoin trading volume reported a rise in the country and led to concerns that it was being used to launder black money.

The Reserve Bank of India too had cautioned the users, holders and traders of VCs, including bitcoins, about the potential financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks.

Immediately after the Budget session of Parlaiment, the government had constituted a panel to take stock of the present status of virtual currencies both in India and at the global level, examine the existing global regulatory and legal structures governing virtual currencies and suggest measures for dealing with such currencies including issues relating to consumer protection and money laundering.

“We request the committee to give us an opportunity to meet them and showcase the benefits of this technology for our country. Financial inclusion, cheaper cross-border remittance, full trace and track on the movement of value on the blockchain network, and the potential for India to become a financial hub are key benefits that can be derived using virtual currencies,” DABFI said.

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