Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday warned that bitcoin presents a risk to younger generations, sounding a hawkish tone as his government prepares to introduce legislation to regulate cryptocurrencies.
Speaking at an online cybersecurity forum, Modi framed virtual money — which is highly popular in India and exists beyond state and central bank control — as a domain that needs to be closely policed.
“Take cryptocurrency or bitcoin, for example,” he told a forum hosted by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
“It is important that all democratic nations work together on this and ensure it does not end up in the wrong hands, which can spoil our youths.”
Critics of cryptocurrencies allege that largely anonymous unregulated transfers make them a perfect tool for drug traffickers, people smugglers or money laundering.
Several countries have begun to legislate to introduce oversight over cryptocurrencies, and exchanges in many jurisdictions are now subject to the same regulations as other financial service providers.—AP