India’s push to regulate cryptocurrency wins support from IMF and US at G20

India’s push to regulate cryptocurrency wins support from IMF and US at G20

India's push to regulate cryptocurrency wins support from IMF and US at G20

A push by India’s Group of 20 (G20) president to regulate cryptocurrencies won support from the International Monetary Fund and the United States on Saturday as the bloc’s finance chiefs wrapped up two days of talks.

India has said it wants a collective global effort to address the issues posed by cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, and the finance ministry said it has organized a seminar for G20 member states to discuss how to propose a common framework.

Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Bengaluru, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said a strong regulatory framework was “essential” but added that the US had not suggested any outright ban.

“We haven’t suggested banning crypto activities outright, but having a strong regulatory framework in place is essential,” Yellen said. “We are working with other governments.”

Earlier, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told reporters after co-chairing a meeting with Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman that banning crypto should be an option.

The government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi debated for several years a bill to regulate or even ban cryptocurrencies but did not take a final decision. The Reserve Bank of India has said cryptocurrencies should be banned as they are akin to a Ponzi scheme.

On Thursday, the IMF laid out a nine-point action plan for how countries should treat crypto assets, with the first point being a plea not to give cryptocurrencies legal tender status.

Such efforts have become a priority for authorities, the fund said, after a number of crypto exchanges and assets collapsed over the past two years, adding that doing nothing was now “unsustainable”.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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