Describing the RBI move to explore and examine introduction of official virtual currency in the country, the ASSOCHAM has, however, cautioned that extreme care be taken to ensure safety of the data trail that the cryptocurrency can leave as it changes hands through a range of electronic devices and platforms.
“Of course the inter-departmental study group of the Reserve Bank of India would examine all the safety aspects when it starts work on exploration of the cryptocurrency which has been introduced by private parties in several parts of the world and has attracted a lot of attention. The need for safety is highlighted more by the recent and serious incidents of breach of the Facebook data of as many as 87 million users all over the world,” said the chamber.
The ASSOCHAM Secretary General D S Rawat said, “Though the number of users affected by the Facebook data breach is less at about half a million in India, more and more Indians are going digital. While we cannot isolate ourselves from the ever rising number of technology platforms, each and every individual who would be using the virtual currency must be protected against fraud, data leak etc.”
Needless to say, the liability of the RBI as is the case with the hard currency would be clearly defined in the case of virtual currencies. “Different situations of usage of the virtual currency have to be simulated,” said the ASSOCHAM.
However, it must be stated that it is quite pragmatic and courageous of the RBI to initiate exploratory steps towards the world of virtual currencies. “A high level of coordination among all the central banks would be required along setting up some kind of a global oversight to guard against misuse of the new currency by the anti-social elements, terrorists, enemy countries,” the chamber said.
The burning issue of privacy which is being debated and adjudicated by the Supreme Court would also need to be examined thoroughly from legal and other angles. Besides, the users have to be educated enough and a great amount of inter-face with departments like tax authorities would be required for the launch of the new currency as and when it happens.
“Thus, the inter-departmental committee of the RBI can even think of expanding its scope and consider presence of even private sector experts in the areas of cyber security, technology platforms and defence related strategic issues,” it added.