Finance minister: “India may not be ready to follow El Salvador’s lead, but don’t rule out cryptocurrency”

India cannot shut out a “futuristic” technology like cryptocurrency but the country may not yet be ready to follow in the footsteps of El Salvador, India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Hindustan Times. El Salvador became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender earlier this month.

Citing it as an example, Sitharaman said protests against Bitcoin adoption in El Salvador show that people care what currency is adopted in a country. “You’d think common people don’t care about digital currency; but the public took to the streets against the move,” Sitharaman said. “It’s not a question of literacy or understanding — it’s also a question of to what extent this is a transparent currency; is it going to be a currency available for everyone?”

As countries have been mulling various ways to regulate cryptocurrencies and launch their own central bank digital currency (CBDC) projects, India has moved more slowly in the space. Despite discussions and studies that have been conducted since 2017, the country has yet to take a clear stance on the legal status of cryptocurrencies.

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