There is no mechanism to prevent the misuse of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin by terror groups and other anti-national elements, the Central government said on Tuesday, adding it was awaiting the report of an expert group on the subject. “One of the features of cryptocurrency is that there is lack of dependence on the state. It functions with a degree of anonymity. It operates within a virtual community which is created and enjoys the trust of that virtual community,” Arun Jaitley Arun Jaitley told the Rajya Sabha.

“The government is examining the matter. A Committee, which is under the chairmanship of the Economic Affairs Department Secretary, is deliberating over all issues related to cryptocurrencies to propose specific actions to be taken… Instead of taking any knee-jerk action, let’s wait for the report of this committee.” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said adding that there were 785 different types of cryptocurrencies operating worldwide. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also clarified that there were no legal safeguards for people dealing in crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin as it was not a “lawful legal tender”.

“Since December 2013, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the government have consistently maintained that this (Bitcoin) is not a lawful legal tender in India. Therefore, no legal protection for the person dealing with it is available,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.