When we contemplate the words “cryptocurrencies” and “artificial intelligence,” a myriad of thoughts and emotions may rush into our minds. These terms are emblematic of innovation and opportunity for some while evoking risk and uncertainty for others. They beckon visions of the future, where our lives are transformed by technology, but they also cast shadows of doubt and concern. These questions have gained renewed significance as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his capacity as the G20 president, calls for a global framework to regulate these transformative technologies and ensure their responsible and beneficial utilization.
Cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence (AI) are two of our era’s most disruptive forces. They possess the potential to revolutionize industries, introduce fresh opportunities, and address previously insurmountable challenges. However, they also bring significant risks and uncertainties, including price volatility, illicit activities, environmental concerns, ethical dilemmas, and societal implications. As such, we must establish a comprehensive global framework to oversee these technologies and steer them toward responsible and advantageous outcomes.
This article will examine the compelling arguments and initiatives of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has championed the cause of global regulation for cryptocurrencies and ethical AI. His endeavors align with India’s own stance on cryptocurrency regulations, which saw the introduction of a 30% tax on crypto gains in 2022. Moreover, Modi’s vision reflects India’s burgeoning prominence in AI, where the nation ranks fourth globally in terms of AI talent.
Cryptocurrency Regulation: A Global Imperative
Prime Minister Modi made these pivotal declarations during the 2023 B20 Summit, underscoring the necessity of international rules for cryptocurrencies due to their far-reaching impact. He likened this call for regulation to the standardized controls in the aviation industry, a sector vital for global connectivity and safety. Emphasizing the importance of safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders, particularly those in developing and emerging economies, Modi underscored the need to harness the potential of these technologies judiciously.
India has been actively engaged in international discussions on cryptocurrency regulation, capitalizing on its role as the G20 presidency for 2023. The nation has released a presidency note, outlining its recommendations for a global framework for crypto assets, grounded in the guidelines issued by prominent bodies such as the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This note also highlights the imperative to address cryptocurrencies’ macroeconomic challenges, such as price volatility, involvement in illicit activities, and environmental ramifications.
India’s proactive stance on cryptocurrency regulation is commendable, underlining its astuteness in recognizing the opportunities and risks of these technologies. India is home to a burgeoning cryptocurrency market, boasting over 15 million users and facilitating transactions exceeding $6.6 billion in value. The nation also nurtures a vibrant and innovative cryptocurrency ecosystem, boasting over 300 startups and 10 unicorns. Nevertheless, India confronts intricate legal and regulatory issues concerning cryptocurrencies, including their legal status, tax treatment, know-your-customer (KYC) norms, consumer protection, and cybersecurity.
Hence, India faces the delicate task of balancing its domestic interests with its global obligations. The nation must craft a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies that is lucid and coherent, one that propels innovation and economic growth while ensuring adherence and accountability. India also must collaborate harmoniously with other nations to establish a unified set of standards and rules for cryptocurrencies, fostering trust and stability while respecting the diversity and sovereignty of individual nations.
Ethical AI: Charting a Responsible Path
Prime Minister Modi also accentuated the significance of embracing swift technological advancements while preserving the interests of all stakeholders. India’s growing prominence in the AI domain, ranking fourth globally in AI talent, positions it as a pivotal participant in shaping worldwide discussions on ethical AI and emerging technologies. Modi asserted that AI possesses the potential to revolutionize various sectors, including agriculture, healthcare, education, and manufacturing. Concurrently, he called for meticulous attention to its ethical deployment, recognizing the ethical dimensions linked to human values, rights, and responsibilities.
India has undertaken various initiatives to foster responsible AI, such as the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence and the Responsible AI for Social Empowerment Summit. The nation has also entered into collaborative ventures with other countries to advance AI research and innovation, exemplified by the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) and the Indo-French Centre for Applied Mathematics (IFCAM). India has further harnessed AI applications for social causes, including disaster management, wildlife conservation, and women’s empowerment.
India’s proactive stance on ethical AI is indeed admirable, serving as a testament to its commitment to contributing to the global dialogue on AI governance and ethics. India has immense potential to leverage AI for the greater good, thanks to its population of 1.3 billion people, many of whom grapple with enduring challenges such as poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, and disease. The nation’s rich and diverse cultural tapestry equips it to offer invaluable insights and perspectives on AI ethics and values.
As a consequence, India is confronted with the arduous task of balancing its technological aspirations with its social responsibilities. India must construct a robust and inclusive AI ecosystem that nurtures innovation and excellence while ensuring equity and justice for all. Moreover, India must harmonize its efforts with other nations to formulate a universal framework for ethical AI, one that respects human dignity and rights, while advancing human development and well-being.
India’s Vision: Leadership in the Digital Economy
Prime Minister Modi’s call for global cryptocurrency regulation and ethical AI encapsulates India’s overarching vision of ascending to a leadership role in the digital economy and innovation sphere. His pronouncements underscore India’s willingness to collaborate with other nations to shape these nascent technologies’ destiny. India, given its unique circumstances, bears both an unparalleled opportunity and a profound responsibility to occupy a pivotal role in shaping the global governance and ethics surrounding cryptocurrencies and AI. India should seize this moment and fulfill its mandate, as this endeavor will not only redound to its benefit but will also be a boon to the entire world.
In a world perpetually navigating the crossroads of innovation and responsibility, the clarion call by Indian Prime Minister Modi for global cryptocurrency regulation and ethical AI resonates as a beacon of foresight and prudence. As we stand on the precipice of a digital revolution, with cryptocurrencies and AI as the vanguards of change, Modi’s vision compels us to ponder our collective destiny.
Cryptocurrencies, with their tantalizing promises of financial inclusion and empowerment, and AI, with its boundless potential to augment human capabilities, beckon us forward. Yet, they also beckon us to consider the road we choose to traverse. Will we embrace these technologies with reckless abandon, stumbling into the abyss of unchecked consequences? Or will we heed the wisdom of international cooperation, shared values, and ethical compasses that ensure our journey is one of progress, equity, and shared prosperity?
The answer lies not only with India but with all nations, stakeholders, and individuals. We are at a pivotal juncture, and the choices we make today will reverberate through generations. Modi’s call is a reminder that leadership in the digital economy entails not just innovation, but a profound commitment to the greater good. As we contemplate the future of cryptocurrencies and AI, let us not forget the fundamental question: What kind of world do we want to create?
Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author- “NFT: From Zero to Hero” and “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.
Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.
An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.