New Delhi: The Centre on Monday told Parliament that a Bill on ‘Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency’ is under finalisation for consideration of the Union Cabinet. The Centre was replying in Lok Sabha to a question on government’s plans to legalise the digital currenty system in the country.
Responding to questions raised by Congress MP Anto Antony on cryptocurrency, MoS Finance Pankaj Chaudhary further told Lok Sabha that eight cases of cryptocurrency-related fraud were under investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Antony had raised a query on “complaints/cheating cases of digital currencies reported in the country”, while also citing recent reports from Karnataka. “The government does not collect data on digital currencies. However, eight cases concerning cryptocurrency related fraud are under investigation by the Directorate of Enforcement.”
“Further, a case has also been registered by the Bangalore Zonal Unit of the Directorate of Enforcement in respect of Bitcoin. Further disclosure of information of these cases will not be in larger public interest,” he added.
The new bill that the government is planning to introduce seeks to ban all but a few private cryptocurrencies to promote underlying technologies while allowing an official digital currency by the Reserve Bank of India.
In the Bitcoin corruption storm in Karnataka, 26-year-old hackerSrikrishna Ramesh alias Sriki, from Bengaluru is at the centre who had attempted to steal Rs 46 crore from the e-procurement cell of the Karnataka government by hacking into their computers in 2019 and was successful in stealing Rs 11.5 crore, according to the chargesheet filed by the police in February 2021.
The hacker is alleged to have hacked into the Karnataka government’s e-procurement cell at the Centre for E-governance at the instance of several associates in Bengaluru who had set up an elaborate money-laundering scheme to bring the stolen funds back to them.