BJP being blamed for a Mega Bitcoin scam is a good thing..

Bitcoin is the currency of criminals and is the digital black money. Now India’s most corrupt party called Congress is blaming BJP which is making efforts to reduce black money through various measures such as Demonetization, Linking of Aadhaar to Government services, Bank accounts and hopefully to Property holdings of a Bitcoin scam.

Naavi.org holds a view that Bitcoin is the darling of all blackmoney holders and corrupt persons whether they are politicians of X party or Y party or bureaucrats or businessmen. It is therefore possible that some politicians in the BJP may hold Bitcoins and may be sympathetic to the Bitcoin. But there is no doubt that many in the opposition parties have their own bitcoin wealth. I also suspect that most of the blackmoney in Swiss Banks has already been converted into Bitcoins or other altcoins. I would be surprised that the Congress as a party would not be the leader in such money laundering activities given the expert economists who are in the party.

The reluctance of the Government of India, particularly the officials of the Finance Ministry indicate that there is a lobby in the Ministry of Finance which is reluctant to take any action to ban Bitcoins and eliminate digital black money despite the pressure from the top brass of BJP. RBI is taking some steps within its own powers but it appears that it is not getting the support from the Finance Ministry. From time to time Mr Jaitely or somebody else comes up with a statement that something is being done but soon there are some leaks from unknown ministry officials stating that Bitcoin would be legalized, regulated etc creating confusion in the market.

Mr Modi and Mr Amit Shah may be worried that just like the Demonetization effort which yielded less than expected results (In general perception) because the Corrupt Gang including Bank officials frustrated its objectives to some extent, any attempt to strike at Bitcoin may generate a bigger backlash from the Corruption brigade.

After all it is so easy to receive bribes in the form of Crypto Coins that bureaucrats and politicians involved in big time corruption would love Bitcoins to continue its existence and they would like to oppose any move to eliminate bitcoins. Hence it is natural to expect the Corrupt politicians like the Congress leaders to do everything to oppose the move politically. Those media people who are hands in glove with such corrupt politicians will try to highlight such political moves and create noise in TV studios. Some politicians may also like to influence the Judiciary if possible that they will fight for Crypto Coins as a part of “Right to Privacy” !.

Given this scenario, it is not surprising that RBI banning the use of Banking Channels for Crypto Exchanges has already been countered by some Exchanges offering alternative channels for conversion of Bitcoins to other Crypto currencies and foreign exchanges and luring the public to break more laws to preserve their black wealth.

In this confusion there are media houses and experts who are trying to teach the public on how to circumvent the RBI’s limited ban on Crypto currencies and continue to break the law at the level of FEMA and PMLA throughvarious articles.

For example, look at the articles “RBI Ban on Cryptocurrency Trade From Today: What Indian Bitcoin Holders can Do!”  or “Bitcoin ban: How cryptocurrency exchanges are circumventing RBI’s circular” . Such articles are meant to guide people to raise an open revolt against the Indian regulation and such attempts need to be put down with an iron hand.

I donot see the rationale of RBI giving a long time for implementing their ban since any time given for implementation in such cases will only be used to circumvent the regulation. It is for this reason that Demonetization had to be announced with an element of surprise which itself was criticized by some who donot understand the mechanism of how such things work.

RBI took more than a few years to announce that “Bitcoin” is not a “Currency” and anybody dealing with a commodity as if it is a substitute for legacy currency was indulging in an illegal activity.

I presume it was because of the officials in the Finance Ministry  who were not in favour of doing anything against Bitcoins even by RBI. The “Expert Committee” constituted for this purpose only dragged the issue further.  This gave enough time for clever corrupt persons to covert their Bitcoin holdings to other alternate currencies. Just as the time given to bring back data of Swiss Banks was used by people to launder the black money into other currencies, the time given for announcing the Government view on Bitcoin has been used and will continue to be used by the corrupt to launder bitcoins into other forms of black money holding.

However, I still feel that it is better late than never and we need to ban Bitcoin completely from our eco system as soon as possible.

Time has come now for declaring that Bitcoin is a menace that has to be eliminated and any person or organization directly or indirectly dealing with Bitcoin or any other Crypto coin (since convertibility of Bitcoin into alt coins is always available without a problem), buying or selling, accepting or promoting the Bitcoin must be declared as an economic offender and proceeded against under laws including PMLA.

Since Bitcoin is the best currency for corruption, it is not surprising that some extortionists may be using it as the means to collect ransom and there could even be a link to a BJP MLA as alleged. If so, let it be exposed and the guilty punished.

I am not worried that Congress has taken up this issue politically  because some BJP MLA’s name has been involved in an incident. At least it will help the Central Government to shake off its lethargy and give more strength to Mr Modi and Amit Shah to be ruthless in coming down heavily against Bitcoin.

If Mr Modi and Shah dithers even now, then likes of Rahul Gandhi will keep talking about it as if Congress is a saint when it comes to Bitcoin issue and it is BJP and BJP alone which is to be blamed for Bitcoin menace.

As I have already written earlier, Mr Modi has to open his third eye to destroy Bitcoin. If he does so, all right thinking persons will support him. (Refer this article: Modi is yet to open his third eye on Bitcoin, the new alternative to Black Money.. Will he wake up in 2018?).

There will be the challenge to convince the voters in the 2019 elections but I feel that our so called illiterate voters are intelligent enough to understand the menace of corruption and accept  a campaign “Banning of Bitcoin is a global fight against Corruption”. Only Modi can take up this challenge and I hope he will do. 

I therefore hope that  Mr Modi himself to come out and make a formal announcement to the nation at least in one of his Man Ki Baat programs that

” Bhaayiyo and Beheno, We are committed to elimination of corruption and consider that all privately owned Crypto Currencies including Bitcoin are  a global menace that feeds on corruption and I therefore launch a global fight against corruption starting with the banning of all private Crypto currencies  first in the Indian economy and then try to persuade other countries to follow.”

I urge Mr Modi to also take up this issue in the UN and try to bring together all countries who have banned Bitcoins into  an “Anti Crypto Currency group of countries” to bring pressure on UN to declare support for banning private crypto currencies.

Naavi

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About Vijayashankar Na

Naavi is a veteran Cyber Law specialist in India and is presently working from Bangalore as an Information Assurance Consultant. Pioneered concepts such as ITA 2008 compliance, Naavi is also the founder of Cyber Law College, a virtual Cyber Law Education institution. He now has been focusing on the projects such as Secure Digital India and Cyber Insurance
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