Prime Minister Narendra Modi Warns Bitcoin Could ‘Spoil’ Young Indians, Urges Cooperation of Nations

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a virtual keynote address at the Sydney Dialogue said that cryptocurrencies must not fall into the “wrong hands and spoil our youth” and urged all democratic nations to work together to ensure such a thing does not happen. “We are in a time of transformation,” The conference hosted by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, saw the Prime Minister emphasise the impact of the Digital Age that “occurs just once in a generation, where technology and data are becoming new weapons.”

In his speech at the Sydney Dialogue, PM Modi further stated that the world has ushered in a new era of opportunities for progress and prosperity. “But we also face new risks and new forms of conflict across diverse threats, from sea-bed to cyber to space. Technology has already become a major instrument of global competition and key to shaping the future international order,” he said.

The keynote which revolved around ‘India's technology evolution and revolution' took place on the backdrop of a high-level meeting chaired by the Prime Minister last week, held to discuss issues related to crypto regulation and to hear concerns over the current state of affairs in the unregulated crypto market in India and its possible fallouts.

In the meeting, it was discussed that unregulated cryptocurrency markets cannot be allowed to become avenues for money laundering and terror financing — a point that the Prime Minister reiterated during his keynote earlier today. That said, government sources did tell PTI that it is conscious of the fact that cryptocurrencies are evolving technology and will keep a close watch and take proactive steps towards its regulation.

A separate meeting was convened by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance earlier this week where various stakeholders — including the likes of cryptocurrency exchanges and the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC), among others reportedly arrived at the conclusion that “cryptocurrency cannot be stopped” but it has to be “regulated”, government sources told ANI.

Currently, there are neither specific regulations nor an outright ban on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.

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