The Indian government is reportedly considering its own digital currency, similar to bitcoin.
The central government of India has discussed the proposal with a committee of government officials, according to an unnamed source, reports the Business Standard.
As India’s central bank believes that digital currencies are ‘susceptible to misuse’ the government is looking at a government-issued digital currency.
The report adds:
“Whenever the decision is taken, the cryptocurrency will fall in the domain of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and some Acts such as the Currency Act might have to be amended.”
According to sources, the government is considering naming the cryptocurrency ‘Lakshmi.’
The move comes at a time when the country is contemplating a framework for digital currency regulations. While it’s unlikely that a digital currency ban will be issued in the country, under which regulatory body they will fall remains unclear.
Reports suggest that they will come under the ambit of the RBI. However, there have also been suggestions that they should be regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
The unlikeliness of a ban has seen significant adoption of bitcoin in the country. This has been noted by comments made by Arun Jaitley, India’s finance minister. Last month, he admitted that there had been ‘notable growth’ in the bitcoin market in India.
Estonia Can’t Launch its Own Cryptocurrency
News of India’s plans to create its own digital currency comes at a time when Estonia’s plans have been shelved.
Three years ago, Estonia launched its e-residency program, enabling people from all over the world to sign-up. Latest figures show that it currently has over 23,000 e-residents from 138 countries.
Last month, a Medium post by Kaspar Korjus, the managing director at e-residency, suggested that Estonia could become the first country to offer its own crypto token through an ICO.
Dubbed the ‘estcoin’ it could be used to pay for services in the country. It was also envisaged that the coins could be used as a currency around the world too.
However, upon hearing of Estonia’s plans to create its own digital currency, Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), was quick to reject the idea.
Speaking at a conference in Frankfurt, Germany, earlier this month, Draghi, said:
“No member state can introduce its own currency; the currency of the eurozone is the euro.”
Furthermore, in light of China’s recent ICO ban, sentiment toward ICOs remains uncertain. As such, any plans for ‘estcoin’ to launch have been put to one side for the time being.