Modi’s first-ever address on cryptocurrency comes with a warning for nations
Narendra Modi was speaking at The Sydney Dialogue.Author : A. Gayatri
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday has called on all democratic nations to work together on cryptocurrency to ensure that it "does not end up in the wrong hands, which can spoil our youth.” It is Modi’s first public comment on the subject.
As he was speaking at The Sydney Dialogue, Modi said: "It is important that all democratic nations work together on this and ensure it does not end up in wrong hands, which can spoil our youth.”
"We've offered our Cowin platform to the entire world for free and made it open-source software. India's extensive experience with the use of technology and policy for the public good, inclusive development and social empowerment can be of great help to the developing world," PM Modi said, adding that India is in a time of change that takes place once in an era, where technology and data a are “becoming new weapons."
"Take crypto-currency or bitcoin for example. It is important that all democratic nations work together on this and ensure it does not end up in wrong hands, which can spoil our youth," he added.
Narendra Modi was speaking on the theme of "India's Technology: Evolution and Revolution" where for the first time he spoke about crypto-currency and bitcoin.
Modi’s warning on the cryptocurrency comes days after he had a meeting regarding how to move forward with this technology in India amid the uncertainties of these unregulated markets as it could become the routes for activities like money laundering and terror financing.
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The meeting was a result of a review process that involved the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Finance Ministry and Home Ministry and other experts. It was reported that parties in the meeting reached a consensus saying that the steps that will be taken by the government will be "progressive and forward-looking". The parties also discussed efforts to not mislead the youth through over-promising and non-transparent advertising which must be stopped.
Forming a regulatory framework to manage and oversee investments that are made by millions of Indians in the digital currency is being considered by the union government.
The Digital Age "is changing everything around us" and has redefined politics, economy and society, PM Modi stated in his address.
Speaking about India’s approach to new technologies, the prime minister states that the country is investing in the development of domestic capabilities in diverse areas including in 5G and 6G for the telecom sector. "It is raising new questions on sovereignty, governance, ethics, law, rights and security. It is reshaping international competition, power and leadership," he added.
He further added that the emergence of new technology means new risks that come in new forms of conflict across diverse threats, from sea-bed to cyber to space.
“Technology has already become a major instrument of global competition and key to shaping the future international order,” he said.
Calling technology and data as new weapons, the prime minister said that democracy’s biggest strength is openness while asserting that nations should not allow vested interest to misuse this openness.