Modi says cryptocurrencies should be used to boost democracy, not harm it

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FILE PHOTO: A representation of the virtual cryptocurrency Bitcoin is seen in this picture illustration taken October 19, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su

NEW DELHI – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that emerging technologies such as cryptocurrencies should be used to empower democracy, not undermine it.

Policymakers in India say unregulated transactions in digital currencies could hurt macroeconomic and financial stability. After initially planning to ban cryptocurrencies, the Modi government is instead considering legislation to regulate their use.

“We must … jointly shape global norms for emerging technologies like social media and cryptocurrencies so that they are used to empower democracy, not to undermine it,” Modi told a virtual summit hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden.

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There are an estimated 15 million to 20 million cryptocurrency investors in India, with total crypto holdings of around 400 billion Indian rupees ($5.29 billion), according to industry estimates. The government does not provide any official data. ($1 = 75.6380 Indian rupees)

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