Bitcoin in India

Bitcoin legalization could be implemented in India in 2019


Only China is home to more people: India has about 1,329 million inhabitants. The decision of the Indian Republic can have a major impact on the global crypto market. Will Bitcoin legalization come in 2019?

Ban on Bitcoin in India

Currently Bitcoin is banned in India. During the time when Bitcoin was in the legal grey zone, the Indian crypto market flourished. An interdisciplinary committee consisting of members of the Indian National Bank (RBI), the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Information and other authorities called for a total ban on Bitcoin in mid-2017.
In August of the following year, this ban also came into effect and India has since then been cut off from the developments on the crypto market.
At the beginning of 2018, the Indian Ministry of Finance seemed to remain convinced of its anti-crypto stance. In his budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley confirmed the ban.
A second interdisciplinary committee now appears to be seriously upsetting this ban. Again, members of the Indian Central Bank and government agencies are present. But unlike the first committee, some members were present at the G20 summit and observed the world’s attitude to cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin legalisation in India possible?

Ganesh Kumar, Managing Director of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), is optimistic. Draft laws on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing have been reviewed. A legal framework for India could open the way for Crypto. Kumar said:
We have gathered impressions from crypto exchange platforms and experts and will clarify the legal steps with the Ministry of Justice. It’s a complicated issue. Once all aspects have been decided, we will have more clarity.
A meeting of the committee is expected in January. There may be a decision by February 2019 as to whether India will open its position on crypto.

People’s reaction on the Bitcoin Ban

If you want to buy Bitcoin in India, you have to be inventive. Especially when it comes to exchanging fiat money for crypto currencies (and vice versa). This is forbidden since a decision of the Indian constitutional court from 3 July.
This ban has also hit the country’s crypto exchanges hard. The latest victim of the Indian crypto-regulation is Ex-Exchange Zebpay, which discontinued its operations at the end of September and is now trying to compensate its former users. Many exchanges fancy emigrating abroad, but as this can be a costly affair, it would only be a viable or floating option for the larger fish.

Necessity is the mother of invention

The Bitcoin exchanges were forced to concentrate on crypto-to-crypto transactions in the hope that the regulators would give in. The Indian Hodlers were also looking for ways to outwit the constitutional court’s quasi-crypto ban. For example, some resorted to tried and tested but forbidden forms of trade such as Dabba or Hawala trading – innovation and tradition do not always have to be mutually exclusive.
But the detour via illegal Dabba trading could soon be spared Indian crypto investors. This applies at least to customers of Unocoin, one of India’s leading crypto exchanges.