The Reserve Bank of India has “major concerns” about cryptocurrencies, the central bank Governor Shaktikanta Das said in an interview to CNBC-TV18 on Wednesday. Elaborating his view on cryptocurrencies, Das said that the RBI’s concerns on the matter lie “from the financial stability angle”.
The RBI governor also said that the central bank has flagged its concerns to the government. “It [the concerns] is under consideration in the government and I do expect...And I think sooner or later the government will take a call and if required the Parliament also will consider and decide,” Das said.
Das, however, sought to distinguish cryptocurrencies from the the blockchain technology. “I also want to make it very clear that the blockchain technology is different,” he said, according to CNBC-TV18. “The benefits of it have to be exploited, that is another thing...”
He also refused to comment on a possible date of launch for the “digital currency” he had spoken about earlier this month, after the RBI’s bi-monthly monetary policy meeting. “It is still work in progress and we are very much in the game,” he told CNBC-TV18. “ We are targeting to launch it. But if you ask me a date, at this point of time it will be difficult for me to say.”
On February 5, at a press briefing after the RBI committee meeting, RBI Deputy Governor BP Kanungo had said that the central bank was taking a close look at the model of digital currency and will come out with a decision “very soon”.
In 2018, the RBI had told lenders that they could not offer any banking services to any cryptocurrency traders or exchanges. However, the ban was revoked by the Supreme Court, calling the RBI decision “disproportionate”.
Meanwhile, following Das’ comment on cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin pared gains in the markets, according to Reuters. Its gains dropped to 1.5% in afternoon trading, from 5% in the morning.