Digital currencies are the name of the game in today’s economic system, with the increase in popularity of cryptocurrencies creating a frenzy around this space. Bitcoin, which is easily the most well-known and largest crypto token, is on a steady upward trend for the last 12 months or so, recently going past the $55,000 mark, having been at just $5,000 last March. It was as low as $20,000 as recently as December 2020, showing just how rapid this rise has been, and this rise has also led to an increase in interest in the wider cryptocurrency sector from individuals and businesses globally. More and more people from across the world are looking to put their money into cryptocurrencies, but we are also seeing an increase in restrictions as this happens. One such country where crypto trading could soon be a thing of the past is India.
The Indian government has recently introduced a bill in Parliament which would make it illegal to own and trade in cryptocurrencies in the country. However, this bill also clears a path for the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, to work on creating its own digital currency. This follows a ban on crypto trading by the RBI back in 2018, which had only recently been struck down by the country’s Supreme Court in March 2020. The removal of this ban led to an explosion in the interest in cryptocurrencies in India, with various exchanges opening up and people looking to invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This also affected other sectors, with some of them attempting to integrate crypto into their operations to take advantage of this boom. One such sector was the online casino industry, where a number of websites began offering users the option to place bets through cryptocurrencies. Thus, a new trusted BTC online casino in India could suddenly see thousands of visitors per day, and therefore saw its revenue increase by huge margins as well. The impact of this potential ban will therefore be felt not just in the crypto trading space, but in many other sectors in India as well.
Not surprisingly, this news has been met with a lot of disappointment in the Indian crypto space. Most participants in this sector believe that the need of the day is for effective regulation, rather than a blanket ban. Regulation would help assuage the concerns that the government has regarding the use of crypto to potentially fund illegal activities, as well as issues around privacy and data, while allowing the sector to take advantage of global trends and continue to grow. A ban would also possibly remove a massive amount of wealth, since it would become impossible for Indians who have money invested in the form of Bitcoin or other crypto assets to withdraw this money. It is unlikely that the government would simply eradicate such a huge amount of wealth in one go – it is far more likely that a period of time will be specified for investors to exit from cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, this will still be a huge blow to the nascent crypto sector in the country, which had only just started to thrive since the removal of the ban by the Supreme Court.
India is not the only country looking to ban crypto trading – others such as Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and even China have put restrictions in place on this sector. However, cryptocurrencies are the future of economic systems, and therefore India will be playing catch-up in the coming years if it does not seize the opportunity to allow crypto growth to take place at this time, when there is already a lot of enthusiasm for this sector in the country.