Union Budget 2018-19: Bitcoin, Crypto-currencies Illegal, Government to Eliminate Its Use, Says Arun Jaitley
New Delhi, December 6: Bitcoin zoomed to a new record of $12,000 on Wednesday. The cryptocurrency continued to rise to hit an all-time high of $12,193 on BitStamp. In the last week, the bitcoin prices had touched $ 11,000 to hit a record high for the sixth day in a row after gaining more than $1,000 in just 12 hours. Before that, the cryptocurrency had hit $10,000 for the first time in history. However, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday has warned people of the risks of virtual currencies (VCs), even as Bitcoin touches new highs fuelling investor interest. Citing its earlier warnings on the subject, the RBI said, “in the wake of the significant spurt in the valuation of many VCs and rapid growth in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), RBI reiterates the concerns”.
As per reports, Bitcoin took 834 days to top $1,000 from the time that BitStamp started to track the price in August 2011. The price of bitcoins jumped from $100 in June 2013 to $3025 in June 2017. It can be noted that the price of a single Bitcoin, which is not regulated by any monetary authority, had skyrocketed to up to USD 11,000 last week in a rally which puzzled watchers.
Bitcoins are fraught with risks and not backed by any tangible asset but by sheer demand. Bitcoins can act as a potential transaction and payment mechanism for businesses to boost digital economy, but they are fraught with risks in the absence of proper monitoring and regulatory framework for the currency. Experts believe that the low transaction cost for bitcoins makes it a highly demanded instrument for digital transactions in recent times. There is a high possibility that the world of bitcoin may expand on the back of greater acceptance rate for bitcoins in recent years.
The government has been debating over issues concerning bitcoins and had last month sought public opinion on allowing virtual currencies. In June, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley held an inter-ministerial meeting to examine risks related to virtual currencies (VCs) like bitcoins. Although several issues concerning bitcoins were discussed, no decision was taken. Bitcoins were in news recently after a massive global ransomware attack ‘WannaCry’ hit systems in over 100 countries. The cybercriminals demanded a fee of about USD 300 in crypto-currencies like bitcoin for unlocking affected devices.