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India's Supreme Court Seeks Answers as Bitcoin Legalization Focus Turns to Taxation

While Indian government officials discuss ways to legalize bitcoin for tax purposes, the Supreme Court has given lawmakers four weeks to examine all security issues relating to digital currencies. Bitcoin.com recently reported on the government setting up a task force to evaluate whether to regulate and legalize bitcoin, which is expected to take 6 months.

Also read: Indian Bitcoin Adoption Responds to Government Signalling for Regulation

The Supreme Court Order

The Supreme Court of India has asked the central government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for information on steps taken to ensure digital currencies are not used for terror financing or money laundering, reported News18 on Friday. The publication detailed:

The court has given four weeks to examine all security related issues pertaining to virtual currency, including bitcoin.

In addition, “a PIL claimed that the RBI was failing to regulate transactions in virtual currency,” the news outlet detailed. “It also alleged that virtual currency was being used for terror funding and money laundering.”

Bitcoin Legality Still Grey Area

While bitcoin is already being widely used in India, News18 wrote that there is still “no clear law stating whether bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are legal in India.”

The RBI has declared bitcoin illegal. On Wednesday, RBI Governor Urjit Patel, speaking at a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, reiterated this view. “The case of bitcoin was raised loudly and many Parliament members raised the question whether this currency is illegal in India,” India Today reported. The governor responded by saying “the Reserve Bank has already said that the cryptocurrency is illegal in India.”

While the RBI considers bitcoin illegal, the Finance Ministry is still evaluating whether to legalize and regulate the digital currency. Last month, Bitcoin.com reported on...

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