The government will proactively investigate the use of blockchain technology to launch the digital economy, Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said it was announced in the 2018-19 budget speech that the government would not consider legal tender for cryptocurrencies or coins and will take all measures to prevent the use of these crypto assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system.

“The government will proactively investigate the use of blockchain technology to initiate the digital economy,” Thakur said in a written response to a question about the introduction of the Indian cryptocurrency.

Regarding the currency in circulation in the country, he said that according to the weekly statistical supplement of the RBI, the Notes in Circulation (NIC) were Rs 17,741.87 billion as of November 4, 2016 and Rs 27,712.43 billion as of January 8, 2021 over a period of around four years and two months an increase of 56.2 percent.

The growth of the NIC depends on various macroeconomic factors such as the expected growth in GDP, inflation, interest rates and the growth of non-cash payment methods, the minister added.

Digital payments have increased steadily over the past few years following the demonstration.

The total transaction volume increased from 2,071 crore in FY2017-18 to 3,134 crore in FY2018-19, which corresponds to a growth rate of 51 percent, said Thakur.

In the 2019-20 period, the number of card payment transactions made with credit cards and debit cards increased by 23.5 percent and 16.1 percent, respectively, while the value increased by 21.1 percent and 35.6 percent to 7.3 billion rupees and 8 billion Rupees rose. respectively.

Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) recorded a volume growth of 15.7 percent compared to 33.2 percent in the previous year, while the transaction value rose slightly more than 1 percent at 2.2 billion rupees.