Breaking news! Neither Bitcoin nor other cryptocurrencies are banned in India.
Every morning you wake up and hear the news of Bitcoin being attacked by one country or the other. But have you ever thought and asked yourself whether it can really be attacked or banned? The answer is no! This is all FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) and rumors being floated in the markets.
Why not, you may ask. Instead of explaining that, let me help you understand what Bitcoin actually is. Maybe you can find an answer then.
A similar FUD and misinterpretation happened in India too and with the stage for Budget 2018 set in India, the timing couldn’t have gotten any better. India’s long-awaited stand on crypto was brought to an end by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The Government does not consider Cryptocurrencies “as Legal Tender or Coin” and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these Crypto Assets in Financing “Illegitimate Activities” or a Part of the Payment System.
And this particular statement was widely misinterpreted, molded and exploited by the mainstream Indian media across the country sending a wave of FUD around Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are not banned India but the Indian government will be consciously cracking down the illegal activities that happen via BTC or other cryptocurrencies and this is similar to keeping a check on illegal activities in USD or INR terms.
Wrong interpretation: Bitcoin is illegal.
Correct interpretation: Bitcoin cannot be used as legal tender. Bitcoin cannot be used for illegitimate activities.
— zebpay (@zebpay) February 1, 2018
In case you did not know yet, Bitcoin is the first, most popular as most accessible cryptocurrency in India. As a result, a drop in the price of the king of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, was witnessed today.
Is There Anything To Worry About?
In my opinion, there is nothing to worry about. First things first, I will still be HODLing my bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies because this FUD is baseless.
No government in the world can do much to threaten the existence of Bitcoin because of its decentralized nature. We have seen how China, Russia and the US have tried this before only to fail terribly in the past.
Additionally, the statement by the Finance Minister of India was nothing different than the previous statements of the Indian government.
Let’s examine some of them:
India’s first comment on Bitcoin came in December 2013:
The creation, trading or usage of VCs including Bitcoins, as a medium for payment are not authorized by any central bank or monetary authority. No regulatory approvals, registration or authorization is stated to have been obtained by the entities concerned for carrying on such activities.
India’s next comment on Bitcoin came in February 2017:
The Reserve Bank of India had cautioned the users, holders, and traders of Virtual Currencies (VCs), including Bitcoins, about the potential financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks that they are exposing themselves to.
The Reserve Bank of India advises that it has not given any license/authorization to any entity / company to operate such schemes or deal with Bitcoin or any virtual currency. As such, any user, holder, investor, trader, etc. dealing with Virtual Currencies will be doing so at their own risk.
India’s next comment on Bitcoin came in December 2017:
Attention of members of public is drawn to the Press Release issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on December 24, 2013, cautioning users, holders and traders of Virtual Currencies (VCs) including Bitcoins regarding the potential economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks associated with dealing with such VCs.
Vide press release dated February 1, 2017, RBI has also clarified that it has not given any license/ authorization to any entity/company to operate such schemes or deal with Bitcoin or any VC.
In the wake of a significant spurt in the valuation of many VCs and rapid growth in Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), RBI reiterates the concerns conveyed in the earlier press releases.
Lastly, this statement by the Finance Minister, which has been misinterpreted to a whole new level. I would leave it up to you to listen to his speech and see for yourself.
All that the statement says is what we all know and understand. It states that Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies are not legal tender. FM Arun Jaitley, at no point, termed it illegal. He added that unlawful activities financed via these currencies will be cracked down upon. Well, there was a crackdown on black money (fiat currency) too. Did that mean people stopped keeping cash?
Also, in earlier statements by the Indian government, they have clearly advised all users of virtual currencies to use virtual currencies at their own risk.
And by now, I think all those involved in the cryptosphere understand the meaning of ‘at your own risk’. Don’t we?
Conclusion: What Now?
Resulting from various reasons, the market is under a healthy correction phase after Bitcoin’s bull run which is important in such markets. If this was not the case, it could well have ended up as an inflated bubble!
So, don’t get affected by the chaos and hold on to your cryptos.
This worldwide correction time could last for anywhere between a few weeks to a couple of months. This is a good time to remind yourself why you got into cryptosphere in the first place.
Another good thing resulting from the correction is the focus shift to the things that matter most in our lives.
A few interesting tech developments are happening and we at CoinSutra are really excited, particularly about Atomic Swaps and Lightning network. Imagine making bitcoin transactions by paying only 1-5 cents that too without any trusted intermediary. Believe me, this is not very far!
Whenever you find yourself in a fix resulting from such FUDs, remember words like decentralization and censorship-resistant to remind yourself why Bitcoin exists!
Everything in the crypto market is pegged to Bitcoin. Therefore, it is only logical that all other cryptos get affected when Bitcoin nosedives.
With that, let’s get back to what we are good at and let’s do some good work today 🙂
Now it is time to hear from you: What do you make of this news? What are you doing with your Bitcoin – HODLing or panic selling? Tell us in the comment section below.
Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family who might have panicked from this FUD situation.
An award-winning blogger with a track record of 10+ years. An international speaker and author who loves blockchain and crypto world.
After discovering about decentralized finance and with his background of Information technology, he made his mission to help others learn and get started with it via CoinSutra.
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