The Indian government has been actively issuing warnings regarding the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. However, Indians are not deterred, crowding to register at crypto exchanges in the country.
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Indian Government Actively Issuing Warnings
The Indian government has repeatedly warned about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
This week, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reiterated in Lok Sabha that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in India. Last week, the finance ministry issued a warning, stating that they are “like Ponzi schemes.” Several parliament members also expressed concerns over their trading at crypto exchanges. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued multiple warnings of its own. Last year, the bank issued two warnings regarding cryptocurrencies, one in February and one in December.
On Thursday, a parliament member Ajay Mishra demanded in Lok Sabha that “the government should make a network capable of monitoring the bitcoin currency,” according to the Hindustan.
Jaitley clarified, as reported by Ndtv, that the government “is deliberating over all issues related to cryptocurrencies to propose specific actions to be taken.”
Earlier this month, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the Indian government sending notices to wealthy bitcoin traders, informing them that they will have to pay capital gains tax. The notices followed on-site searches by the tax department at nine of the country’s top bitcoin exchanges.
Indians Still Rush to Open Crypto Accounts
Despite multiple warnings by the government, Indians are still attracted to cryptocurrencies, rushing to open accounts at crypto exchanges.
“The cryptocurrency craze has increased so much that there is a long waiting for registration” at crypto exchanges, the India Times reported on Thursday.
Data from a leading Indian cryptocurrency exchange, Unocoin, reveals that only a thousand people had registered to trade on the platform in December 2016. However, that number grew to an average of 10,000 a day last month, the news outlet added.
Another local exchange, Coinsecure, also reported an overwhelming volume of registrants. The exchange has posted a notice on its website saying “we have a huge backlog on KYC’s so please expect a delay of over 10 days before we contact you.” The publication noted that the company has “also stopped the option to make payments without verification,” adding that “On average, around 4,000 applications are coming in each day for registration.”
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the India Times.
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