All cryptocurrencies, which include bitcoins, are illegal and the government will take all measures to eliminate their use, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his Budget speech on Thursday.
"Cryptocurrencies are not legal tender and the government discourages its use. However, the government will look at the utilisation of Blockchain (a distributed digital technology that supports crypto currencies)," Jaitley said.
In an effort to curb the proliferation of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin in India, the Finance Minister said that such digital currencies are not legal tender and people dealing in them would not get any legal protection.
Earlier too, Jaitley had informed Parliament that there are no regulations governing virtual currencies in India and the RBI has not given any licence to any entity/company to operate such currencies.
He had further said that taking cognisance of concerns raised at various fora from time to time on increasing use of virtual currencies (VCs) and the regulatory challenges, the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) constituted a committee with representations from DEA, Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), RBI, Niti Aayog and SBI. The committee has submitted its report and it is being examined.