India's Modi holds talks on criminal risks related to cryptocurrencies

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FILE PHOTO: India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City
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MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chaired a meeting to discuss the future of cryptocurrencies, sources said on Saturday, amid reports the government is considering modifying a bill that would have led to a ban.

"It was strongly felt that attempts to mislead the youth through over-promising and non-transparent advertising be stopped," a government source said.

"It was also discussed that unregulated crypto markets cannot be let to become avenues for money laundering and terror financing."

India's government said in March it was considering a ban on cryptocurrencies, with fines for anyone trading in the country or even holding such digital assets.

It has since held a consultation process involving the Reserve Bank of India, the finance and home ministries and international experts.

Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das this week said cryptocurrencies are a serious concern from a macro economic and financial stability point of view.

A bill to regulate cryptocurrencies that stops short of a complete ban will come up in the winter session of Parliament, which starts later this month, according to reports.

India's digital currency market was worth $6.6 billion in May 2021, compared with $923 million in April 2020, according to blockchain data platform Chainalysis.

(Reporting by Swati Bhat; Editing by Mike Harrison)

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