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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Need global action to regulate, monitor technology, data: Nirmala Sitharaman

The Union government intends to bring a Bill to prohibit “all private cryptocurrencies in India” with “certain exceptions”.

Written by Sunny Verma | New Delhi |
Updated: December 4, 2021 1:07:21 am
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman participating virtually at the InFinity Forum 2021 (Twitter/@FinMinIndia)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Friday said technology does not respect physical borders and there is a need for global action in developing regulations for technology-driven payment systems including cryptocurrencies.

Speaking virtually at the InFinity Forum, she said, “Even as we are thinking at a national level, there should simultaneously be a global mechanism through which we are constantly monitoring the movement of technology, so that whether it is your cryptocurrency, tech-driven payment systems, data privacy, whether it is ensuring that data is used ethically.”

The Centre has listed the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, for introduction in the Lok Sabha in the Winter session. It seeks to “create a facilitative framework for the creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India”. It also  prohibit “all private cryptocurrencies” with “certain exceptions”.

In response to a query on how regulations can keep pace with evolving technology, Sitharaman said regulation — legislative as well as executive — have so far only been catching up with technology. “So as long the executive and legislature are only catching up, you will never be on top of it. And with technology, I am not sure they (regulators) can ever be on top of this kind of situation, because it is ever changing and ever evolving,” she said.

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