(Bloomberg) -- A hardline Hindu nationalist group, which counted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its member in the past, sought stringent regulations on digital currencies as the nation emerges as one of the fastest growing cryptocurrency markets.
“I have no idea which country regulates a currency like Bitcoin or if there are any rules governing them,” Mohan Bhagwat, chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, said in his address at an annual event marking the Hindu festival of Dussehra. “The government has to ensure that it is regulated in the larger interest of the society.”
Digital currencies have drawn the ire of country’s regulators including the Reserve Bank of India in the past couple of years but that has not dimmed its popularity in the South Asian nation. The pace of expansion has been the strongest after the Middle East and much of Europe, with India’s market growing 641% and Pakistan’s 711% over 12 months.
The warning from the RSS, the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, comes amid local reports that several Indian celebrities have endorsed the sector. For instance, Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan has created non-fungible tokens -- digital collectibles -- and become a so-called brand ambassador for exchange CoinDCX, India’s first cryptocurrency unicorn.
In his speech, Bhagwat also called for stricter monitoring of streaming platforms as they were broadcasting content which was not suitable for school-going children. India is an emerging market with competition heating up between multiple streaming platforms, including Amazon.com Inc. ‘s Prime Video, Walt Disney Co., Netflix Inc. and a host of local players.
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