Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Cryptocurrency traders on the offensive after RBI clampdown

RBI cracks down on Bitcoin bans banks from dealing with cryptocurrency traders RBI cracks down on digital currencies, plans own cryptocurrency | Video
Andrew Cummings | 08 April, 2018, 01:04

"In view of the associated risks, it has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling VCs (virtual currencies)", the RBI said in a statement.

The Central bank's latest clampdown on virtual currencies has triggered defiance and outrage among traders, who insist they will continue dealing in cryptocurrencies using cash and other means. The RBI will issue detailed instructions in this regard within one week. The banks will need to achieve 50 per cent provision cover for those loans by end-June, said the bankers and the letter. Before Thursday's statement, the Indian government had issued warnings about the risk associated with trading. Even launched in 2012, it is now gaining limelight for not so right reasons as desi crypto coins are considered a little dubious, said professor Pradeeptha Sethi, a former banker and expert in financial market infrastructure.

In its press release, the RBI noted that it has contemplated introducing a fiat-based digital currency that is fully regulated.

But at the same time, the RBI has said it will look at the feasibility of floating its own crypto-currency or digital currency in the near future. Moreover, accounts of several crypto exchanges were closed by banks, forcing them to move to smaller banks.

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For the foreign leg of the transaction, if any, the data can also be stored in the foreign country, if required, the RBI said.

Apart from this, none of the currencies or exchanges have been banned in the country, and numerous bigger ones would likely continue existing in the capacity of cryptocurrency wallets.

When examining both the RBI's press release banning dealing with cryptocurrencies and the Deputy Governor's statement, it isn't hard to connect the dots. The digital payments ecosystem in the country has grown owing to the rise of new payment systems, players and platforms. Central bank should have created an atmosphere, where the impact of its decision does not spread fear among investors and exchanges. By, which would be easily stabilized, and would even red introducing a state-backed currency, RBI would be able to reduce the costs of printing paper money.

Readers may recall that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had made a mention in his Budget speech that the government does not recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender, although the cryptocurrency exchanges may be permitted to function subject to the regulations in place.

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