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India upholds hostile stance on Bitcoin

Nov 08 2017
By
Jonathan Smith

S. Ganesh Kumar, a director of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s c-bank and main financial regulator, said that the country would not recognize the Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency as a legal tender.


“Our current position on bitcoins is that we will not be using it for any payments and settlements…though the technology underlying crypto-currencies will not end”, said Kumar at a banking conference in Mumbai, quoted by local media. According to other reports, it became clear that even though not banning bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies altogether, anyone using, dealing and trading in those instruments will be doing so at their own risk.


On the other hand, earlier statements of RBI officials have hinted that India is turning its attention towards fiat-based cryptocurrencies, which would be something like an alternative to the Indian rupee.


The latest statements comes days after reports that the government is considering the closure of the local bitcoin exchanges. The news left the Indian bitcoin community disappointed, as it was expecting some sort of regulation and legalizaiton instead.


There are several local bitcoin exchanges, the first of which is Zebpay - more like an e-wallet. Unocoin allows users to buy, sell, transfer and store bitcoin. Bitxoxo is an exchange that also supports payment & withdrawals through IMPS (an instant interbank electronic fund transfer service through mobile phones). There are also several of the major global exchanges like Coinbase and LocalBitcoins who also operate in India.


The RBI is India’s central bank, which is also in charge of regulating and supervising the financial system, including the non-banking financial companies and managing the exchange market.


TAGS: india  bitcoin  cryptocurrencies 

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