India’s opposition has demanded answers from the government on its stance on cryptocurrency a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Twitter account was hacked with a tweet saying the country had “officially adopted bitcoin as legal tender”.
The tweet was quickly deleted and the prime minister’s office said Modi’s account was “briefly compromised” before Twitter restored the account.
The tweet posted by the unidentified hackers on Sunday also said the government had bought 500 bitcoin and was distributing them to Indian residents across the country.
“Hurry up,” the tweet read and included a link to a blog.
On Monday, opposition Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the hacking incident raised serious security concerns and pressed the government to clarify whether it plans to recognise cryptocurrency, reported the Press Trust of India news agency.
“If the prime minister’s Twitter handle is compromised twice in two years, how can we be assured of the security of the nation? India’s security is under threat,” he said speaking before parliament’s lower house.
Last year, the Twitter account linked to the prime minister’s personal website was also hacked.
The most recent incident comes just as the government is considering a law that could ban cryptocurrencies while creating a framework to bring in an official digital currency by India’s central bank.
Details on the bill are still scarce but it is listed for hearing in parliament this month.
Last month, when speculation around the proposed cryptocurrency bill began, prices of some of the most popular digital currencies like bitcoin, Ethereum and Tether tumbled by as much as 25 per cent momentarily.
Modi is an avid tweeter and regularly posts on the platform to his more than 70 million followers, more than that of US President Joe Biden and beyond even celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Selena Gomez.
Last year, unidentified hackers broke into the Twitter accounts of tech billionaires, politicians and celebrities in an apparent bitcoin scam.
The ruse included bogus tweets from a number of high-profile people, including the former US president Barack Obama and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Australian Associated Press