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Budget 2018: Cryptocurrency hits a wall, Digital India scales one

While the government will come down heavily on transactions through cryptocurrencies, allocation for Digital India is proposed to be doubled.

February 01, 2018 / 03:30 PM IST

Despite the fact that Arun Jaitley declared that cryptocurrency was not legal tender in his Budget 2018 speech, the Finance Minister emphasised on Digital India through measures such as WiFi hotspots.

While the government will come down heavily on transactions through cryptocurrencies, allocation for Digital India is proposed to be doubled.

Last year’s allocation for Digital India was Rs 1,672.76 crore, which takes this year’s allocation to over Rs 3,000 crore.

With the motto “Power to Empower”, Digital India aims to ensure that government services are made available to citizens through improved online infrastructure and by increased Internet connectivity. The initiative includes plans to connect rural areas with high-speed internet networks. It consists of three core components — development of secure and stable digital infrastructure, delivering government services digitally, and universal digital literacy. It was launched in July 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In what is his toughest Budget yet, Jaitley came down strongly on cryptocurrency. It would target eliminating illicit transactions in crypto assets.

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A cryptocurrency is a decentralised digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography. They are classified as a subset of digital currencies and are also classified as a subset of alternative currencies and virtual currencies. The decentralized control of each cryptocurrency works through a blockchain, which is a public transaction database, functioning as a distributed ledger. The first, and probably the best known, is Bitcoin, created in 2009.
first published: Feb 1, 2018 03:30 pm

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