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Not discouraging blockchain tech: Finance Secretary

Government’s stance on crypto assets not linked to other uses of technology, assures Somanathan

February 21, 2022 07:51 pm | Updated 07:51 pm IST

Mr. Somanathan was responding to concerns articulated about the government’s regulatory approach to crypto assets spilling over to the deployment of blockchain technologies in general.

Mr. Somanathan was responding to concerns articulated about the government’s regulatory approach to crypto assets spilling over to the deployment of blockchain technologies in general. | Photo Credit: KAMAL NARANG

Special Correspondent

The government has no intent to bar the use of blockchain technologies for functions other than those related to payments and the creation of crypto assets, a top Finance Ministry official said on Monday, allaying industry players’ fears stemming from the Centre’s ambiguous stance on the legitimacy of crypto assets.

“I want to make it clear that the government policy towards blockchain has nothing to do with its policy on crypto assets. There needs to be no apprehension whatsoever about anyone using blockchain in an area that has nothing to do with payments or currency,” Finance Secretary T.V. Somanathan said at a post-Budget interaction in Mumbai.

He was responding to concerns articulated about the government’s regulatory approach to crypto assets spilling over to the deployment of blockchain technologies in general.

“The government itself, the Coffee Board under the Commerce Ministry has an initiative – using blockchain system for identifying specific varieties of coffee from specific fields so that they derive a higher price when sold in export markets as it has a proof of origin. So government has nothing against blockchain tech and there’s no connection between the two… ,” Mr. Somanathan said.

Acknowledging that blockchain is an important technology, the Finance Secretary pointed out that the Budget referred to the central bank digital currency which will be based on a version of blockchain technology.

“It [the concern] is about a particular use case in the area of so-called crypto or virtual digital assets. The government is in no way discouraging blockchain technology,” he concluded.

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