In an event at Stanford Medicine, the Finance Minister of India contemplated that India will not rush into finalizing a policy on cryptocurrencies and virtual digital assets. Instead, India will take an informed decision after due deliberations across the multilateral fora.
At a fireside chat organized by the Stanford University, Sitharaman said that blockchain does have the potential to contribute to the economy positively, it can be easily manipulated and used for terror activities and money laundering.
“Blockchain is full of potential not just in the payments arena but also in many others. Our intention is in no way to hurt the ecosystem, or to even say that we don’t need it, but to define for ourselves how we need them and in what ways their growth should be facilitated and how we are going to handle it… (This is so) because as much potential it may have for positive contribution to the economy, it also can be manipulated for not so desirable ends —whether it is money laundering or leading to financing terror,” she added.
She even said that how cryptocurrency is concern not just for India for many other countries. She added, “It will take its time for all of us to be sure…within the given available information, we are taking a discerned decision… and it can’t be rushed through.”
Talking about the recent sanctions imposed on crypto-led profits, she said that these decisions always have a collateral impact on many other countries to the global interconnectivity in the digital era and that might be factored when discussing about the future of cryptocurrency for India. She said, “Sanctions always have an impact on the economy, of not just the country on which the sanction is levied, but a collateral impact on many others. I suppose that is the situation, much more so now because we are globally far more interconnected than ever before. When decisions are taken to impose sanctions, these set of unintended consequences may have to be factored in the digital era.”
Talking about India’s stand on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Sitharaman said that the decision was taken considering the economic and security aspects as India shares its borders with some countries, which is why it needs to play a neutral role in the same. “The balance that India has taken in every one of the decisions in this context has been because of the geopolitical location of India…as we share land borders with some of these countries. Over the decades when the situation arose, India was left to defend for itself its own economic, land and border interests.”