In April, the Reserve Bank of India had called upon all bodies under its regulation to stop dealing in cryptocurrencies by 5th July 2018. This move has severely inconvenienced investors looking to exchange digital currencies such as the Bitcoin for rupees. On 6th July, a day after the ban was put into force, John McAfee, the owner of the eponymous anti-virus software, took to Twitter to lash out against the RBI move. A well-known proponent of digital currencies, McAfee called for a boycott of all institutions that are in business with the RBI, saying that the ban is an “atrocity” and motivated by fear. He blamed the “existing centralized power structure” for the ban coming through.
Despite the recent slump in the fortunes of top cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin etc, McAfee has repeatedly sung praises of the digital currency medium, even making a somewhat hyperbolic prediction that Bitcoins will trade at a rate of $1 million per coin by 2020.
The RBI ban has been challenged at the apex court by the Internet and Mobile Association of India but a temporary stay has not yet been granted. The next hearing is scheduled for 20th July. Subsequently, there has been no deterrence for the impacts the ban has produced in the Indian cryptocurrency market and the key players in this space have taken quite a hit.
Recently, it has also been reported that the apex bank probably did not take a well thought-out decision with regard to the crypto ban. The apex bank of India is yet to study and analyze the draft about the cryptocurrency market presented by Subhash Chandra Garg, the Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs.
Despite the adverse impacts on the cryptocurrency exchanges and the market in general, certain platforms have found a way to duck the RBI ban. By setting up peer-to-peer transactions that allow buyers and sellers to interact directly for the transaction, exchanges such as the Koinex Loop and WazirX have successfully evaded the terms of the ban.
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