The number of users are doubling in every two-three months in India itself.
The survey, carried out for the first time across nine Bitcoin exchanges in the country, including those in Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad and Gurugram, was part of the authority's broader efforts to profile and scrutinise assessees who pose a risk of tax evasion, reports quoting Income Tax sources said.
Be careful, as the Income Tax (I-T) Department on Wednesday conducted survey operations at major Bitcoin exchanges across the country. The team of officials was well equipped with professional software tools which could recover all the financial data and inputs of the exchanges. "However, the operations are still on and final findings will emerge later", a senior official was quoted as saying.
"Though Bitcoin is a grey area in India (the RBI has not termed it as an illegal tender yet), the transactions in the currency have gone through the roof, from Rs 1,200 crore in the last financial year to '10,000 crore in the current financial year". RBI has also warned that the onus of the risk associated with investing in cryptos lies exclusively with the individual, as RBI is no way is responsible for the outcome until it decides to grant licenses of cryptocurrency operation.
He further said that the creation of virtual currencies like Bitcoins as a medium of payments is not authorised by any central bank or monetary authority. The tax department is seeking cases where a large amount of "black money" is said to have been siphoned off through the cryptocurrency route.
India's looking to get to grips with cryptocurrencies so it can tax transactions, reports Reuters.
In March this year, the government had said that use of virtual currencies like Bitcoins is not authorised by RBI and could result in breach of anti-money laundering provisions. During this time, the major exchanges have reported record high new-users registrations. More recently, the Supreme Court of India sought the government's response on a plea to regulate the flow of bitcoin and establishing a panel to develop a digital currency regulatory framework. "The government's position is clear, we don't recognise cryptocurrency as legal currency as of now", the Finance minister, Arun Jaitley said.