Are Bitcoin And Other Cryptocurrencies Legal In India?

Why the country's government doesn't give a clear answer?

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The government of India hasn’t come with a clear answer yet regarding the legality of cryptocurrencies trading. Below there are the views of the three authorities of India (government, the Supreme Court and the Reverse Bank of India) about the regulation of Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

The Supreme Court and Indian government

In June 2017, the government of India was considering regulating the major crypto coin and giving it a legal status. However, it never became true.

A few months later, in August 2017, the Finance Minister of India Arun Jaitley submitted a report about banning Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies.

Then, In November 2017, the Supreme Court asked the government to reply to a petition filed by the Court. The petition was ordering the regulation of Bitcoin’s flow.

A few weeks later, Arun Jaitley stated that the government hadn’t given any legitimacy to digital currencies. However, he added that they were checking the report.

Reserve Bank of India

Reserve Bank of India has made two different announcements regarding the legality of Bitcoin. The first one was on Dec. 24, 2013. It warned people that they’re exposing themselves at a potential financial, legal, and security-related risk.

A few years later, on Feb. 1, 2017, the Reserve Bank reiterated its stance, claiming that it hasn’t given any license to any entity to deal with Bitcoin or any other digital currency.

In addition, on Sep. 13, 2017, the RBI’s executive director Sudarshan Sen talked at an official event. He announced that a team is looking at fiat cryptocurrencies, something similar to the Indian rupee. He added that they still feel uncomfortable with non-fiat cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

‘Yes’ to Blockchain, ‘No’ to Bitcoin

Some of the largest banks in India such as SBI, ICICI, and Kotak Mahindra, have been taking advantage of Blockchain technology. RBI’s executive director had announced that RBI is aiming to create its own digital currency similar to the central banks of China and England.

Following this announcement, the news was talking about government’s plans to bring its own virtual currency with the name ‘Lakshmi’.

As a result, the financial authorities of India seem to have the intention of throwing away Bitcoin, while taking advantage and adopting the innovative technology behind it.

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