Bitcoin had its best ever showing this November. Pic: Reuters

Bitcoin poised to become official in India as soon as next week

BITCOIN could soon become an officially regulated currency in India, according to reports.

India’s government set up an Inter-Disciplinary Committee within India’s Ministry of back in April to look into the legal status of Bitcoin and how the market could be regulated. A report from Cointelegraph suggests that the panel has come down in favour of regulating the cryptocurrency.

There has been no official confirmation from the government as yet, but the move makes sense considering the growing use of bitcoin in the country. Chris Burniske, ARK Invest’s cryptocurrency lead, recently tweeted about the rising trading volumes coming from India.

Whether or not the government formally recognises the currency it is already beginning to make inroads in the country. Quartz recently reported on a restaurant owner in Bangalore who accepts bitcoin.

While places that accept bitcoins as payment are still few and far between, Sandeep Goenka, co-founder of Indian botcoin company Zepbay, told Quartz some 200,000 to 500,000 Indians are investing in the cryptocurrency.

“Currently, most people are using (bitcoin) to make some alternate investments,” he said. “According to us, (the) state of bitcoins as a payment mode in India is still a couple of years away.”

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In the course of its deliberation the Indian government started a consultation on its MyGov forum to judge the national mood towards bitcoin. While most were positive about the technology, according to Forbes, they also voiced concerns about the currencies its potential use in money laundering and its instability.

The Reserve Bank of India issued a warning to users and traders of virtual currencies earlier this year about the financial and legal risks they exposed themselves to by using unregulated currencies like Bitcoin.