Yesterday’s RBI notice which went viral on social media and several News publishing houses which stated that the Indian government was virtually banning the Crypto/INR pairing and thereby not allowing users to invest in cryptocurrencies through any RBI regulated banking system.
Within hours of this news breaking out, Bitcoin and Ethereum fell dramatically in Indian exchanges like Unocoin and Zebpay. Bitcoin briefly started trading at Rs. 3,56,000 (~$5400) and Ethereum started trading at Rs. 19500 (~$298).
At press time, the price of Bitcoin [BTC] in Unocoin, an Indian cryptocurrency exchange was Rs. 3,89,000 (~$5994) and Ethereum [ETH] was trading at Rs. 21,289 (~$328) which much lower than the global prices. Bitcoin according to Price.Ambcrypto and Coinmarketcap.com was at press time trading at $6844 and ETH was trading at $383 to a token.
Although chaos and anger prevailed among the Indian cryptocurrency investors, exchanges like Unocoin and Zebpay confirmed that business was normal was as usual.
Mirco Recksiek, a blockchain enthusiast in a recent Twitter post said,
“But still this move isn’t smart in my point of view and moves
#India into the same corner as #China, both isolating themselves from global development of #cryptocurrencies and #Blockchain. This is what I would call overregulated…wrong turn.”
Ananth Shivkumar, the CTO of a blockchain startup in India says,
“Wow! Another blow. Does the government even know the amount of money these blockchain startups can actually pump into the government in the form of taxes? If you want to save the consumers then educate them and not ban it. Narendra Modi wants to make India a digital leader but everything he does now is going against it”
A representative from Unocoin’s customer relations said,
“Business is normal here, although we are yet to discuss this matter internally, we don’t think anything will change. Unocoin is headquartered out of Singapore and all our payments are processed from there and none of our users are getting affected right now. Netbanking payments, although is still a problem sometimes”
Sentiments in the Indian market has been bearish since Arun Jaitley’s budget speech earlier this year. The strong advocates of cryptocurrencies in India and other analysts feel the current stance by the government will just increase the chances of OTC and Cash crypto trading which might exactly be the thing the Indian government would not want.
India already has a very strong regulated cryptocurrency market with a strong identity and background verification process. With everybody hoping for a reversal of a decision, many expect a better, easier process for Indian investors.
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