After dipping to $7000 levels in February, the international price of bitcoin has moved back above $11,000 per piece. The virtual currency/asset trades at Rs 704,163 in India, averaging bid-offer prices from Unocoin. This is almost a 60% rebound from its February lows. However, the price remains well below its all-time high of around $20,000 hit in December 2017.
In India, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg had said in a post Budget interaction that the cryptocurrencies are crypto assets and not a legal tender. There will be more clarity on the future of Crypto trading in India after a government committee submits a report on the subject by the end of this financial year. The Government has, however, gone on record multiple times that they will curb the use of bitcoin for illegal activities.
Reserve Bank of India has also cautioned investors in crypto several times saying they are trading in the digital currency at their own risk.
State Bank of India has recently cautioned customers using SBI cards to transact in Bitcoin, following up on a series of similar moves by other banks to distance themselves from the currency. Citibank has also banned the use of its credit cards for purchasing bitcoin.
In January, there were unconfirmed reports of some banks including State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Yes Bank and ICICI Bank imposing restrictions or suspending accounts of cryptocurrency exchanges. Besides, the Registrar of Companies (ROC) has also reportedly stopped registering cryptocurrency exchanges in India.
In the meantime, international messaging app Telegram has moved closer to launching its own cryptocurrency having already raised $850 million. Homegrown telecom player Reliance Jio is reportedly examining the possibility of its own virtual currency, Jiocoin.