Category Archives: India bitcoin news

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Indian Bank Closes Influencer’s Account for Making Crypto-Related Transactions

Indian

Indian online bank Digibank has closed down accounts of several people suspected of crypto trading, including that of popular local crypto influencer Indian CryptoGirl, who Tweeted the news.

After India’s Kotak Mahindra Bank, Digibank also starts sending anticrypto notices

“We observed transactions for in cryptocurrencies, hence we are putting a credit freeze in your account. You will not be able to deposit any more funds & within 30 days we will close your account” pic.twitter.com/6eemcOayP5

— Indian CryptoGirl (@DesiCryptoHodlr) January 15, 2019

The crypto owner had Tweeted in the past about messages received from banks to local Indians, warning them that central bank (Reserve Bank of India) rules would lead to banks shutting down accounts suspected of crypto trading.

She made her position clear: “I’ve been a user of DBS’ Digibank for a year. Although I regularly used Kotak Mahindra Bank for my cryptocurrency transactions, I used Digibank only 7 times throughout the year. On January 14th, I received multiple messages from my twitter followers regarding an account closure notice by digibank. I checked my mailbox and found the mail myself.”

In reply to a question, she further said, “Banks have interpreted RBI’s guidelines as per their own convenience. This, however, is tantamount to taking the law in your own hands. RBI has only prohibited banks from working with businesses offering cryptocurrency solutions and NOT individuals from trading cryptocurrencies between them.”

India has been facing a lot of controversy since last year regarding cryptocurrencies. RBI has banned banks from dealing with crypto related transactions. It has even stopped development of its own centrally-backed cryptocurrency.

The issue has been taken up by the local blockchain and crypto association, with the case running in the supreme court. RBI’s stance is that cryptocurrencies provide an easy means of laundering money and helps tax evasion. The industry leaders, however, claim that cryptocurrencies are designed to be censorship resistant and the ban would only lead to a thriving underground marketplace – exactly what the government wants to eliminate.

 

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India May Legalize Crypto but with Strict Conditions

India

The Indian government may be planning to legalize cryptocurrencies in the country albeit with strict conditions.

A government committee has been formed and is reported to have held meetings twice to discuss the issue. It is expected that a comprehensive report will be submitted to the Ministry of Finance by February 2019, reports The New Indian Express. However, it appears that the legalization will be allowed under strict conditions.

The committee has agreed that cryptocurrency cannot be considered as entirely illegal, with current debates going on in the committee.

Apart from these meetings, an inter-disciplinary panel has also been formed. This panel will look into the legal matters and involve the stakeholders such as crypto experts and exchanges to ask for their opinions on the matter.

It is important to note that in March 2017, the first government panel to tackle the crypto issue suggested a complete ban on cryptocurrencies and assets. However, a second committee was formed last year to revisit this issue with the intent of regulation and legalization.

The “ban” suggestion of the first panel led to the decision of the Reserve Bank of India to render cryptocurrencies illegal. This decision was challenged in the supreme court of India and as a result, the second committee was formed. However, as a backlash, some cryptocurrency firms such as Zebpay Exchange closed their businesses in India. Zebpay blamed the Reserve Bank of India for this decision and its representatives claimed that their bank accounts were seized, meaning it could not operate in a reasonable way.

Legalization reports have emerged from India in previous months, so the rumor mill hasn’t let off. For example, in the middle of 2018, media reports came out claiming that the second committee considered cryptocurrencies to be legal assets.

 

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Indian Government Committee on Cryptocurrencies – Considering Legalization

Indian Government Committee on Cryptocurrencies Considering Legalization

Local English news portal, The New Indian Express (TNIE), has reported that a government official from the committee that is overviewing cryptocurrency status has said the panel is considering legalizing digital currencies

The unnamed official, according to the article on TNIE, said, “There is a general consensus that cryptocurrency cannot be dismissed as completely illegal. It needs to be legalized with strong riders.”

Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank, had declared all forms of cryptocurrencies illegal in April this year, with a ban on banks and individuals dealing them. This had forced local crypto exchanges to cease operations. A move by the local blockchain company to bring the issue to the legal authorities had led to Indian courts asking the government for clarification on the subject.

Subsequently, the government had formed the team to study and give their findings on it.

The latest team is the second one so far, led by Department of Economic Affairs Secretary, Subhash Chandra Garg. The third meeting is expected to be in January.

The team consists of representatives from different governmental bodies, such as Reserve Bank of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Revenue Secretary. According to the official, the committee members “have also taken inputs from cryptocurrency exchanges and experts”

After the initial ban, a government official had suggested a ban on cryptocurrencies but wanted blockchain technology to flourish. Only a few days later, India completed its first blockchain based business transaction.

Later the same month, SWIFT in India had eyed decentralized ledger technology for more secure and fraud-proof banking services.

The love-hate relationship with blockchain and cryptocurrencies seem to be coming to an end. With a large blockchain industry, the positive recommendation of the committee is eagerly awaited.

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