THE bitcoin boom in India has not gone unnoticed by the country’s biggest banks, who are now
cracking down on the cryptocurrency. But what is the legal status of bitcoin in India?
By SEBASTIAN KETTLEY
20:54, Wed, Jan 10, 2018 | UPDATED
Bitcoin’s roaring success towards the end of 2017 proved irresistible to Indian investors, despite rumours that India’s central bank could put a stop to the token.
At the moment bitcoin has not been outlawed or banned, but India’s major finance institutions do not recognise it as legal tender.
India’s complicated relationship with bitcoin is all the more bizarre because neither the Government nor the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have officially clamped down on it, but have approached it with a palpable degree of hostility.
All the while individual bitcoin traders and exchanges appear to be bearing the brunt of a campaign that has already begun to impact crypto usage across the country.
Even with no regulation in place yet, crypto exchanges across India have broken the silence to reveal the threat of regulation was enough to hamstring deposits and withdrawals.
Koinex, a popular crypto exchange based in Mumbai, said on Sunday that Indian banks were bottlenecking transactions of the Indian Rupee (INR), forcing the company to suspend withdrawals on the platform.