Feb  - The Group of 20 (G20) big economies is exploring whether the group could collectively regulate cryptocurrencies, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday.

Given the sophisticated technologies involved with these virtual assets, countries must discuss whether a given regulation is needed, said Sitharaman, whose country is this year's G20 president.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has for several years debated drafting a law to regulate or even ban cryptocurrencies but has not made a final decision.

"We are talking to all nations, that if it requires regulation, then one country alone cannot do anything," Sitharaman told reporters after meeting the central bank's directors in New Delhi.

"We are talking with all nations, if we can make some standard operating procedure which is followed by everyone to make a regulatory framework, and if it can be effective.

India will host G20 finance ministers and central bank governors this month.

Last year, Modi has said a collective global effort is needed to deal with problems posed by cryptocurrencies. The Reserve Bank of India has said that cryptocurrencies should be banned as they are akin to a Ponzi scheme.

(Reporting by Nikunj Ohri; Editing by William Mallard)