Ajeet Khurana, Head Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Committee, IAMAI, India, in an interview at the ETMarkets Global Summit 2018 expressed his strong opinions on the bitcoin trade in India. Where he told that these cryptocurrency transactions will happen irrespective of the authority of banks or not. However, if these transactions are backed by banks, there would be an easier means of keeping an eye on them.
Talking about the adoption of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Khurana appreciated that despite a very conventional mindset, a significant part of our population has given up the arrogance of assuming that money will continue forever the way it has been used. People are accepting that there is an evolution. However, he also mentions that if the government takes a very adverse view of this, he would not know whether people would be stifling innovation in that case.
Talking about Bitcoin purchases, Khurana said,
“At the level of purchasing or possessing, I do not see India as one of those very underdeveloped countries in the world which are banning Bitcoin. I see India in the league of countries like USA, UK, Singapore, Italy, Switzerland, etc, where at least I do not see the government taking any adverse action.”
When talking about the bitcoin exchanges with the banks, with many banks banning them, Khurana says that he has a huge amount of conviction in Bitcoin. He told how regularly RTI queries are addressed to the Reserve Bank of India, asking them whether there was any such indication, circular notification, etc, sent to banks to withdraw banking services and the answer is a very clear no. RBI has not done anything.
“If you have a bank account and you want to buy Bitcoin after knowing all the risks factors, I do not see how a bank can forbid you from doing that. If underlying assets were banned, if RBI had said Bitcoin cannot be purchased in India or the Government of India had said that, they would say this is not an asset class that you can purchase. That has not happened so for banks to take an action like this is irrational overreach and frankly very disappointing. I think they are grossly misusing their .. “
“You give us a PAN number, we will tell you how many transactions the person has done, etc. We are recommending that let us remain within the banking system because then, everything can be tracked and there is a trail. If the banks stop allowing bitcoin purchase through them, the transactions will still happen, except that nobody will ever know. I do not think this is good for India.”
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