Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman noted that the government had not decided on prohibiting cryptocurrency exchange advertisements.

Defining cryptocurrency as a “risky area;” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that the government has yet to decide on cryptocurrency advertisements. The announcement comes just a day after she was quoted in the Lok Sabha saying there was no proposal to recognize Bitcoin as a currency in the country.

“This is a risky area and not in a complete regulatory framework. No decision was taken on banning its advertisements. Steps are taken to create awareness through RBI and SEBI. The government will soon introduce a Bill,” Sitharaman said during the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha.

The Finance Minister also stated that the Centre is debating the regulation of Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs). NFTs can be digital assets, such as a jpeg file, a GIF image, or even a digital music file. The cryptocurrency craze has also resulted in a surge in the global NFT market.

She also stated that the risk of cryptocurrencies leading to illegal activities is being closely monitored. When asked about the steps taken to limit advertisements by MP Sushil Kumar, Sitharaman added that “investors have been cautioned.”

“We don’t have ready information about the amount of tax collected on cryptocurrencies,” Sitharaman said of taxes collected on crypto trades.

“Keeping the propriety of the House, any answer now will preempt the discussion which will come with Bill. That discussion would be held,” she added.

This development comes as the government prepares to introduce the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021 in Parliament during the current Winter Session. The Bill seeks to prohibit all but a few private cryptocurrencies to promote underlying technologies while allowing the Reserve Bank of India to issue an official digital currency (RBI).

In an earlier reply to the Lok Sabha, the Finance Minister stated that the government does not collect data on Bitcoin transactions.

Source: The Indian Express

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