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Bitcoins: Virtual currencies pose financial risk, says RBI Deputy Governor (Relevant for GS Prelims and GS Mains Paper III)

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor cautioned against virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, stating that they pose potential financial, legal, customer protection and security-related risks.

Various risks involved are as follows

1.   Virtual currencies being in digital form are stored in digital/ electronic media and they are prone to losses arising out of hacking, loss of password, compromise of access credentials and malware attack.

2.   Payments by such currencies are on a peer-to-peer basis. No established framework for recourse to customer problems, disputes/ charge backs, etc. is feasible.

3.   Value seems to be a matter of speculation and use by people.

4.   Legal status is definitely not there. While this is a purported objective of a VC, it puts a natural limit for its progression.

5.   The usage of VCs for illicit and illegal activities is also uncomfortably large.



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