India is considering tracking digital currencies like bitcoin through the central bank and capital markets regulator along with intelligence agencies to monitor money laundering and terrorist financing, people with the knowledge of the matter said.
A federal government panel is examining options such as banning, regulating or limited intervention for virtual currencies in India, an area that’s currently neither regulated nor recognized by the government, said the people who asked not to be identified as the discussions are not public.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have attracted the attention of the authorities due to the exponential rise in their prices and market size. They’ve sparked concerns of money laundering, terrorist financing and drug trafficking.
According to government estimates, the economic value of one bitcoin is worth as much as 60 grams of gold, which closed at 27,837 rupees ($432) per 10 grams on July 13. With a weekly turnover of 60 million to 100 million rupees, bitcoin, the largest of the digital currencies, has gained a firm foothold in India. Digital currencies are worth around $90 billion, down from a market capitalization of $115 billion on June 14, according to data from Coinmarketcap.com.