December 20, 2017 / 10:13 AM / a year ago

Indian authorities weighing how to regulate cryptocurrencies: SEBI chief

Ajay Tyagi, chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), speaks during the inauguration of the NSE's International Exchange at Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) in Gandhinagar, India June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Amit Dave

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India’s capital market regulator is talking with the government and central bank about how to regulate cryptocurrencies, its chairman said on Wednesday.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), plus officials from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), are on a panel tasked with determining the legal oversight for cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, Chairman Ajay Tyagi said.

“There has to be a process or law, only then can you take action,” Tyagi told reporters on the sidelines of a Confederation of Indian Industry conference in Mumbai.

India currently has no regulation for cryptocurrencies, and like other global policymakers, it is seeking to understand how to supervise a market that many feel is a speculative bubble.

Earlier this month, the RBI said it was concerned about bitcoin. India’s central tax authority is also surveying bitcoin exchanges to find out whether it can tax any transactions.

Reporting by Abhirup Roy; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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