India's Supreme Court has asked the government to clarify the legality of the country's cryptocurrency after a sharp rise in bitcoin scams, according to local media reports.

See related article: Investigating the Indian Cryptocurrency Scam

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  • A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant asked Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Aishwarya Bhati to clarify the government’s position on the use of cryptocurrencies in India.
  • The Supreme Court of India is hearing a case related to the GainBitcoin scam, an alleged fraud of 87,000 bitcoins worth INR 20,000 million ($2.64 billion).
  • Pradeep Gooptu, a financial markets expert, told Forkast that the government’s response will clarify classifications, rules and regulations, taxable amounts for such transactions, and improve the flexibility and sustainability of the industry.
  • According to Chainalysis, cryptocurrency crime hit a new high, with illegal addresses receiving $14 billion in 2021, an increase of 79% over the previous year.
  • On Friday, an Indian national was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice as the founder of BitConnect in a $2.4 billion cryptocurrency scheme.
  • India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a new 30 percent tax on cryptocurrencies, but stressed that cryptocurrencies have not yet been legalized, while the central bank continues to call for an outright ban.

See related article: India needs to make a decision on cryptocurrencies