Influential Hindu group asks Indian gov’t to regulate digital currencies

Influential Hindu group asks Indian gov’t to regulate digital currencies

A right-wing Hindu nationalist group, which is reported to have massive influence within the ruling political party in India, has called on the government to regulate digital currencies and streaming platforms.

The group, known as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has deep links within the government and is said to be the ideological parent of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party. Modi was at one time a recognized member of the group.

“I have no idea which country regulates a currency like Bitcoin or if there are any rules governing them,” Mohan Bhogwat, the founder and chief of the RSS stated in an address at an annual event celebrating the Hindu festival of Dussehra.

The call to regulate digital currencies comes at a time when the industry is on a surge, with India ranking second in global adoption according to Chainalysis. However, despite the adoption, the country has yet to implement regulations. 

According to a recent report by BrookerChoose, India ranks first globally for digital currency owners at over 10 million. The U.S. at 2.74 million and Russia at 1.74 million trail at second and third place respectively. The report also revealed that India’s largest stockbroker Zerodha had been overtaken by some major exchanges in the number of users. Zerodha has about seven million users, with CoinSwitch Kuber at 11.3 million and WazirX at 8.3 million.

There have been several reports that the Indian government intends on imposing a blanket ban on the sector. The Reserve Bank of India has also shown hostility towards the industry in the past, including by curbing access to banking services for players in the sector. However, no concrete policies have been forthcoming for the Bitcoin industry.

“The government has to ensure that it is regulated in the larger interest of the society,” the leader of the nationalist group stated.

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