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RBI not comfortable with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins: Sen

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Reserve Bank is uncomfortable with "non-fiat" cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, its executive director Sudarshan Sen said yesterday. "As regards non-fiat cryptocurrencies, I think we are not comfortable," Sen said addressing the India Fintech Day conference here.

Elaborating on what is a non-fiat cryptocurrency, Sen said, "Bitcoins for example. That's a private cryptocurrency." The fiat cryptocurrency is a digital currency which will be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in place of the physical one at present, he said, adding that the central bank is studying this aspect at present.

"Right now, we have a group of people who are looking at fiat cryptocurrencies. Something that is an alternative to the Indian rupee, so to speak. We are looking at that closely," Sen said.

The RBI has been repeatedly cautioning everyone about the usage of cryptocurrencies, flagging a slew of concerns. According to some media reports, there has been a growing number of investors in such currencies over the last few years, especially with the huge spurt in the value of a few of them since the Donald Trump administration came in the US.

"Any user, holder, investor or trader dealing with virtual currencies is doing it at their own risk," the RBI had cautioned on its website in February this year.

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