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Govt looking at proposal to join digital payments alliance

Lok Sabha

New Delhi:  The government is considering a proposal to join the Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA), a global body which promotes digital payments.

“BTCA, which is a forum of governments, development partners and companies that promote transition from cash to digital payments, has sent a proposal for joining the forum which is under consideration of the government,” Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

The BTCA, according to its website, provides expertise in the transition to digital payments to achieve the goals of empowering people and growing emerging economies.

The Alliance, which is funded by organizations like UN Capital Development Fund, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi bank and USAID has 33 members.

Replying to another question on bitcoin, Sinha said RBI has not come across any information with regard to rise of “bitcoin currency base in the country”.

The Reserve Bank, he added, has been examining the issues associated with the usage, holding and trading of virtual currencies, including bitcoins, under the existing legal and regulatory framework including foreign exchange and payment systems, laws and regulations.

Bitcoin is the world’s most widely used alternative currency with a total market cap of approximately USD  3.6 billion. The bitcoin network is made up of thousands of computers run by individuals all over the world. Bitcoin, a form of digital currency, is created and held electronically.

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