New Delhi: There is no mechanism to prevent the misuse of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin by terror groups and other anti-national elements, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told Parliament on Tuesday. He disapproved of the acceptance of Bitcoin as legal currency stating: “Bitcoin is not a legal tender in India.” "One of the features of cryptocurrency is that there is lack of dependence on the state.

It functions with a degree of anonymity. It operates within a virtual community which is created and enjoys the trust of that virtual community," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the Rajya Sabha. "The government is examining the matter.

A Committee under the chairmanship of the Economic Affairs Department Secretary is deliberating over all issues related to cryptocurrencies to propose specific actions to be taken... Instead of taking any knee-jerk action, let's wait for the report of this committee." He said there were 785 different types of cryptocurrencies operating worldwide.

Jaitley also clarified that there were no legal safeguards for people dealing in crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin as it was not a "lawful legal tender". "Since December 2013, the RBI and the government have consistently maintained that this (Bitcoin) is not a lawful legal tender in India. Therefore, no legal protection for the person dealing in it is available," Jaitley said.

He added that 11 cryptocurrency exchanges have been identified in India and the government will not take knee-jerk decisions on crypto currencies. Value of the Bitcoin crossed $19,000 in December last year. As of today, January 2, 2018, the value of the Bitcoin converted to Indian National Rupees by Google is stated as Rs 8,51,073.40.