Do Modi's Comments Signal Crypto Shift in India?
Regulation of crypto is a major talking point right now, but Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments on the subject have left some baffled.
Addressing the Sydney Dialogue, Modi made comments on Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto regulation.
He said: ‘Democratic nations should work together on cryptocurrency to ensure it does not end up in the wrong hands.’
Modi's Words on Twitter
Although it is unclear what the ‘wrong hands’ are, Modi’s words were considered important enough to be repeated on his official Twitter feed.
His account tweeted: ‘Take cryptocurrency or Bitcoin for example. It is important that all democratic nations work together on this and ensure it does not end up in [the] wrong hands, which can spoil our youth.’
Also during the address Modi said: ‘We are at a historic moment of choice. Either all the wonderful powers of technology of our age will be instruments of cooperation or conflict, coercion or choice, domination or development.’
Social Media Speculation
The comments sparked social media speculation that India may be on the verge of a China-style crackdown. Many, however, felt the comments meant little more than Modi supports responsible crypto regulation.
There is interest in India’s crypto stance, as the country is reported to be considering its own central bank digital currency (CBDC) project. This could arrive next year, although progress by the central Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been considered slow.
A media report in India this week said the RBI is still examining ‘matching domestic priorities with design features’.
While limited trials of the proposed CBDC are pencilled for next month, a national rollout looks unlikely any time soon.
Despite the way some have interpreted Modi’s comments, India is thought unlikely to want to restrict crypto access in the way China has.