Cryptographic transactions must be recognized as an asset class: RSS body –

New Delhi: RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagaran Manch said the government should pass legislation to recognize and regulate cryptocurrency transactions as an asset class.

Speaking to PTI, Ashwani Mahajan, co-organizer of Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM), suggested that the government should also ensure that data and material, which is used for retrieval, processing and transaction crypto-currencies, remain on the national servers.

This will help the government to detect illicit transactions and take action against them, he added.

At present, anyone from anywhere in the world can invest in it through private exchanges managed by private entities. And the worst part is that cryptocurrencies are not controlled by any central authority, he said when asked for his opinion on cryptocurrencies.

There is no mechanism in place to see how crypto transactions are carried out through private exchanges, who invests in them and what investors do with them, he added.

Legislation is needed to regulate cryptocurrencies and recognize transactions made with them as an asset class. This will help develop a better understanding of transactions for tax and national security purposes, Mahajan said.

He dismissed the comparison of crypto assets with commodities like gold, calling it unfounded, saying cryptos have no intrinsic value.

Private virtual currencies are at substantial disagreement with the concept of money, he said, stressing that “no ruler” should allow private agencies to issue legal quotes or anything equivalent.

Most bitcoin is mined from the dark web and we don’t know who the issuer is. Monies do not represent a person’s debt or liability. This crypto is not money. Certainly, it cannot be a currency, he said.

Globally, there are instances where bitcoin has been used on the dark web to pay for weapons, drugs and other illicit purposes, he added.

Amid cryptocurrency concerns, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting on November 13 to deliberate on the way forward.

On November 15, a parliamentary panel, chaired by BJP leader Jayant Sinha, also discussed the pros and cons of crypto-finance with various stakeholders.

Mahajan appreciated the decision, but said there was a need to organize “a wider discussion” on the issue, involving all stakeholders.

The government is discussing with some key stakeholders, but a broader discussion is needed. National debate and wider discussion on the topic of cryptocurrencies is needed, he said.

Originally launched with Bitcoin in 2008, there are currently hundreds of cryptocurrencies traded on private exchanges internationally, including India.

Due to its stratospheric rise, Bitcoin is considered the best investment of the past decade. Initially valued at around 10 cents, the coin was trading at over 60,000 until last week.

Two of the other main coins in the market are Solana and Ethereum, with multiple use cases.

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