India’s Prime Minister has called for international cooperation to regulate cryptocurrency.
Modi spoke at The Sydney Dialogue today, an online event hosted by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Modi praised India’s technology sector, claiming that it has helped to solve the Y2K problem. It also created value through its start-up scene, improved the lives of citizens and open-sourced the Co-WIN COVID-19 management software. Modi expressed optimism that technology would improve the world.
He took a different approach when discussing some technologies and new developments in the technology sector.
Modi stated that cryptocurrency and Bitcoin were important topics for a discussion. He warned that it was crucial that all democratic countries work together to prevent the currency from ending up in the wrong hands, which could ruin our youth.
This comment was made without further explanation, but India had previously introduced legislation banning cryptocurrency. India’s Economic Times yesterday reported a possible change in stance – to allow cryptocurrency to be traded but to prevent its use for payments.
Modi appeared to also take aim at big tech. He argued that technology and data are new types of weapons in competition among nations before declaring: ‘Openness, the strength of democracy, we shouldn’t allow some vested interests misuse this openness. Modi’s comment was accompanied by a call for international cooperation in intelligence and cyber security to “prevent manipulations of public opinion”.
The PM offered India as a reliable source of technology manufacturing and teased again an incentive package that would lure semiconductor manufacturing to his country.
Modi stated that the package will not only target local industry development, but should also be considered within the context of India’s willingness to collaborate with other like-minded countries on technical and governance norms and standards consistent with democratic values. Modi also spoke out in support of data protection, stating that he is keen to see standards that allow data crossing borders safely.
He ended his remarks with a warning: technology is not always a good agent.
He said, “We are at an historic moment of choice,” “Will technology become an instrument of conflict or cooperation?” Choice or coercion? Domination or development Oppression or chance?
He said that India was’ready to rise to fulfill our responsibilities’.