Just when crypto enthusiasts around the globe were rejoicing the massive price rise of Bitcoins comes the heart-breaking announcement hinting at a likely shutting down Indian cryptocurrency exchanges. According to a report published on Thursday by Economic Times, a government committee has advised closing cryptocurrency dealers in India as the cryptocurrencies are aiding money laundering.
A dedicated panel has been appointed by India’s finance minister for examining the existing cryptocurrency framework and come out with measures for tackling the same. The government empanelled group have been given a deadline of three months for submitting related reports pertaining to money laundering and consumer protection which from the beginning have been exploited by hackers to defraud unsuspecting investors trading over the cryptocurrency platform.
The panel is yet to take its decision regarding how the legislation will be brought about by the government and which body shall be entrusted with the regulatory oversight in the sphere of cryptocurrencies. This decision of Indian government comes immediately after Bitcoin reaches record high figures following the announcement by the world’s largest futures and options exchange, CME to roll forward bitcoin futures by year end. It is imperative to note that the value of Bitcoin has increased by seven times this year to cross over the $7000 threshold on Thursday. Bitcoin traded highest around $7350 on Thursday, 03 November
Indian bitcoin players who were hoping desperately for a Bitcoin legislation were left dumbfounded following the newspaper report publication.
Hesham Rehman, the CEO & Co-founder, Bitxoxo, a bitcoin exchange operating in Indian markets exclaimed that the authorized body should try and reduce the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies via cash rather than imposing a ban on cryptocurrency dealers. Since this is the usually travelled road for people engaged in malicious activities, a similar ban on cash transaction could put a leash on illegal dealings. He added that, “This move can reduce illegalities in the country. If exchanges come under the definition of dealers, then in case of closure of domestic cryptocurrency exchanges, buyers will start buying them from foreign exchanges.”
Imposing a ban shall hold no good in the long run as customers can easily avail cryptocurrencies from the numerous available international alternatives. Those intent on purchasing cryptocurrencies can get an international fiat currency in exchange of Indian Rupee and then hop into the Bitcoin bandwagon. Thus it is very difficult to predict exactly how will the regulatory body of India bring crypto activities under its control.
Although India as a whole might have been a late bloomer in the subject of Bitcoins, certain states such as Andhra Pradesh have already started implementing the underlying Blockchain Technology as a hedge against real estate fraud. Not only land/property fraud but the Andhra Pradesh government has also implemented Blockchain Technology to secure citizen’s data.However, in case the words published by this Indian daily materializes, several bigshot exchanges operating in India such as Zebpay and Unocoin might have to pull down its shutters.
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