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SC seeks centre’s response on plea to regulate Bitcoin

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A plea to regulate the flow of Bitcoin and ensure that this virtual currency be made accountable to the exchequer today led the Supreme Court to seek a response from the Centre.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud issued notice to the ministries of Finance, Law and Justice, Information Technology, market regulator SEBI and the RBI, on the plea which also sought setting up of a panel to frame a mechanism to regulate the
flow of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a digital currency that allows people to buy goods and services and exchange money without involving banks, credit card issuers or other third parties.

It was introduced in 2008 by an unidentified group of programmers as a cryptocurrency as well as an electronic
payment system. It is reportedly the first decentralised digital currency where peer-to-peer transactions take place without any intermediary.

The plea, also sought responses from the Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate.

Petitioner in his plea, has said that the money used to buy Bitcoin from foreign locations is completely untraceable and may be used for trading and other financial activities directly from crypto currency accounts without any accountability.

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