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Jan 11, 2018 04:25 PM IST | Source:

Lawyer moves Calcutta High Court, seeks regulation of bitcoin

He said that people are investing in the currencies which are unregulated. They hope that their investment will grow manifold in a short span of time

Moneycontrol News @moneycontrolcom

A lawyer in Kolkata has knocked the doors of the Calcutta High Court asking it to intervene to regulate the flow of bitcoin in India.

The PIL filed by advocate Bivas Chatterjee last week alleged that drug trafficking, ransomware, extortion and other unlawful activities are being facilitated by use of cryptocurrencies, said a report in The Indian Express. Chatterjee sought either a complete ban on digital currencies or regulation of its flow and pleaded the court to intervene.

Chatterjee is also the state government’s nodal officer for cases related to cyber crimes. However, he has petitioned the High Court in his personal capacity.

Explainer: What is bitcoin and how does it work?

“Use of Bitcoin was maximised post demonetisation, when cashless economy was being promoted. In India, law enforcement agencies are confused…. Either the government should ban Bitcoin by declaring it illegal like China or there must be a regulatory body to control its flow,” Chatterjee said in a lengthy petition.

He dwells at length on how bitcoins can lead to an “economic catastrophe”. He says in the petition that though in 2009 one Bitcoin was valueless, in 2018 it’s soared to Rs 9.2 lakh.

Also Read: John McAfee's candid confession — 'have used cryptocurrencies for illegal drugs'

He said that people are investing in the currencies which are unregulated and they hope that their investment will grow manifold in a short span of time.

“Cryptocurrencies promise fast and anonymous fund transfers at a low cost. Such transactions are really difficult to track…cryptocurrencies are perfect facilitators for crimes. Investigating authorities are facing hurdles while probing crimes involving cryptocurrencies or Bitcoins because of it’s anonymity,” said Chatterjee.

He also termed Bitcoin as “India’s currency of choice for drug trafficking, arms, and prostitution business” and asked for a ban on it. He cited China’s instance which has made trading in cryptocurrencies illegal in the country.

The court will hear the matter on February 2.
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