Indian Lawmaker Says Crypto Must Be Blocked if Used for Illegal Purposes

India’s minister of state for external affairs says that cryptocurrencies must be blocked if they are used for illegal purposes, such as “to launch cyber-attacks in India, to launch other attacks on India, to do other kinds of illegal and unethical work like drug trafficking.” Meanwhile, the Indian government is reportedly making changes to the crypto bill that is listed to be taken up in the current session of parliament.

Indian Minister of State for External Affairs on Cryptocurrency and Crypto Regulation

Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi has reportedly stressed that cryptocurrencies need to be blocked if they are used for illegal means to harm India’s sovereignty and integrity.

Lekhi is also India’s current minister of state for culture. She was elected to the 16th Lok Sabha in May 2014 from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She was reelected to the 17th Lok Sabha in May 2019.

Speaking at the sixth Global Technology Summit, jointly organized by the Ministry of External Affairs and Carnegie India last week, Lekhi was quoted by IANS publication as saying:

If cryptocurrency is going to be used to launch cyberattacks in India, to launch other attacks on India, to do other kinds of illegal and unethical work like drug trafficking, I need to stop all that.

“I am sure the finance ministry and IT ministry would have looked deeply into these aspects,” she added.

The minister continued: “The cryptocurrency platforms and exchanges are owned by a set of people who are trying to avoid tax, taking the money out of the country without giving benefit to the country where they produce this wealth.”

Meanwhile, the Indian government is reportedly making some changes to the cryptocurrency bill that is listed to be taken up in the current session of Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s parliament.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chaired some meetings on crypto legislation in India and will be taking a final decision on crypto regulation. He recently said that cryptocurrency should be used to empower democracy and not undermine it.

Recent reports indicate that the government is planning to regulate crypto assets but ban the use of cryptocurrencies for payments. However, the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has voiced major concerns regarding cryptocurrency and said at its most recent central board meeting that cryptocurrency must be fully banned, emphasizing that a partial ban will not work.

What do you think about the comments by this parliament member? Let us know in the comments section below.

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