There’s more uncertainty spilling out of India as the government is again considering a ban on trading Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
It’s not the first time ‘banning’ rumours have been abound in India and many don’t believe they can ban Bitcoin, but it makes buying Bitcoin in India an uneasy experience.
As always there are conflicting reports coming out of India. There is still no crypto regulation at all in India, and local lawyer Mohammed Danish claims the government’s dilly dallying has even increased curiosity in Bitcoin and other crytpocurrencies.
‘The Supreme court judgment has helped big time in increasing the curiosity around crypto,’ said Danish. ‘Even in legal fraternity I see lot of people taking huge interest. But this curiosity is of course limited to a certain age group.’
This curiosity among the legal fraternity correlates with data coming from blockchain.com, which claims among all countries India is now the second biggest increase of Bitcoin wallet creations since the start of June.
Will India Ban Bitcoin?
India’s cryptocurrency bill was back in the limelight last week after Moneycontrol reported that the government was reconsidering an outright ban on trading and buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
An anonymous government official apparently spoke with Moneycontrol, claiming that the government had been holding further talks with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) about banning Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading in India.
‘There was a view in the government that banning it through a law would be more binding,’ said an anonymous government official. ‘It will clearly define the illegality of the trade. We have forwarded a note to related ministries for inter-ministerial discussions.’
This news comes on the back of the Economic Times report in June, who claimed that Delhi was looking to introduce a law that would override the RBI’s circular – a law that allows banks to deal with crypto related cases as they see fit – and instead implement an outright ban on trading and buying Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
Indian Banks Freezing Accounts of Customers ‘Suspected’ of Trading Bitcoin
Adding more fuel to the fire, it’s alleged that India’s largest mobile commerce platform Paytm has frozen the bank accounts of users suspected of trading Bitcoin, even though it is still legal in India.
Paytm Payments Bank, India’s largest digital bank, has reportedly been blocking accounts of customers who are ‘suspected of trading cryptocurrencies,’ and many users are reporting the freeze of their accounts.
And India’s third-largest private-sector bank, Axis Bank called customers asking if they had used the accounts for trading cryptocurrencies. The bank warned that it would block any accounts used for trading Bitcoin.
And some customers said they were asked to sign a declaration form confirming that they ‘do no deal in any type of virtual currency transactions’ through their Axis Bank account.
What’s Happening With Bitcoin in India?
With mixed news constantly leaking out of India, it’s hard to know exactly what to believe. The government constantly contradicts itself, and the RBI seem to want to control who can do what with their rupees.
The CEO of WazirX, Nischal Schetty is confident the government won’t ban crypto. Schetty, who started the #indiawantscrypto campaign regularly tweets about the state of crypto in India, and he believes the government will struggle to ban Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
‘Innovative technology will always be seen negatively by those who do not understand it,’ said Schetty. ‘How would anyone think/talk of banning a technology that cannot technically be banned?’
India Needs To Make Up Its Mind On Bitcoin
Whether it’s the government flip-flopping or the banks choosing to freeze accounts of their customers partaking in legal practice, the signals coming from the decision makers isn’t helpful to India at all regarding Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is unstoppable, and any government that tries to ban it will lose out. Bitcoin and decentralized ledger technology is set to revolutionize the financial industry.
It’s already happening, and it won’t be stopped. India might be able to slow down its progress, but all it will do is harm its economy.
Let’s hope innovative thinkers like Nischal Schetty and the #indiawantscrypto campaign can convince the dinosaurs in Delhi that India can’t afford to fall further behind.
Author: Tommy Limpitlaw
How can I buy Bitcoin in India?
Why does one bitcoin cost so much?
Every bitcoin has value because they are useful as a form of money. In the case of Bitcoin, this can be measured by its growing base of users, merchants, and startups. And as the digital age continues to dominate, a currency that is built on the Internet and for the Internet, especially one that requires no third party and can be programmed, it just shows the potential of Bitcoin.
But the truth is, it’s not really that expensive. The actual price isn’t really a true reflection of its value. It’s the market cap, and that is just over $200 billion today. A lot of money to me and you, but as an asset, $200 billion is tiny.
How long does it take to mine one bitcoin?
On average, the time it takes for miners to mine BTC is 10 minutes. But they don’t just mine 1 BTC. Mined Bitcoins are created with every new block and these produce the Bitcoin block reward which at the moment is 6.25 BTC, so you could say it takes less than 2 minutes to mine each Bitcoin.
Can you lose money with Bitcoin?
You certainly can lose money on Bitcoin. Many new investors see the gains Bitcoin has made and expect it to always be so. But the truth is, Bitcoin’s gains have come from holding on long term and riding the market. People expecting only gains, quickly lose faith when it crashes and lose money