Growing Number of Indian Crypto Exchanges Say Fiat Support Is Back Despite RBI Ban

Growing Number of Indian Crypto Exchanges Say Fiat Support Is Back Despite RBI Ban

A growing number of crypto exchanges in India have announced the return of fiat deposit and withdrawal support despite the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank. Several other exchanges in the country also allow their users to use Indian rupees to buy and cash out cryptocurrencies through their exchange-escrow peer-to-peer (P2P) services.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Exchanges Say INR Support Is Back

Growing Number of Indian Crypto Exchanges Say Fiat Support Is Back Despite RBI BanSince the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) went into effect in July, crypto exchanges in the country have been deprived of banking services. Many of them subsequently shut down their INR support, disallowing users to make deposits and withdrawals in Indian rupees. The Supreme Court of India is scheduled to hear petitions against the ban next week.

However, recently at least three crypto exchanges in the country have announced the return of INR deposit and withdrawal support despite the RBI ban.

On Wednesday, September 12, crypto exchange Koinex announced that it has brought back INR deposits and withdrawals through its P2P system, stating:

We are happy to announce the revival of INR in the crypto universe through a new peer-to-peer deposit and withdrawal mechanism for INR transactions…Just like the old times, users will be able to deposit and withdraw funds directly from their INR wallets.

Growing Number of Indian Crypto Exchanges Say Fiat Support Is Back Despite RBI BanAnother crypto exchange, Coindelta, announced on August 31 that it had resumed INR support. “We have resumed back the INR deposits and withdrawals on Coindelta. Not only this, your old favourite INR markets are back where you can trade with your INR,” the exchange wrote.

In addition, news.Bitcoin.com recently reported on another exchange, Giottus, offering a creative way of allowing users to deposit and withdraw Indian rupees using its P2P platform.

Other Exchanges With Similar Services

The three aforementioned exchanges are utilizing their exchange-escrowed P2P services to facilitate deposits and withdrawals in Indian rupees. Each has its own set of rules including the number of coins supported, the deposit and withdrawal process, and the time it takes to withdraw INR using their systems.

Growing Number of Indian Crypto Exchanges Say Fiat Support Is Back Despite RBI BanThere are several other exchanges with similar P2P services that allow users to both purchase cryptocurrencies and cash out in Indian rupees.

Crypto exchange Wazirx, for example, recently celebrated its six-month anniversary of launching its P2P service. The exchange claims “We’re seeing our trading volumes increasing every day.” Vouching for the popularity of P2P trading, CEO Nischal Shetty told news.Bitcoin.com “We see more than 1 match per minute on our P2P.”

Another exchange, Instashift, has been offering P2P trading of over 80 coins. “Since the last set of RBI related developments in the past couple of months, we have continued to see strong 20-25% growth in trading volumes month on month over the last 2 quarters of our operation,” CEO Rahul Chitale shared with news.Bitcoin.com.

Coindcx also offers P2P trading on its Dcxinsta platform. “We guarantee any 50+ cryptocurrencies purchase directly with INR in less than 60 seconds,” CEO Sumit Gupta claims.

Other fiat-enabling systems outside of the P2P services are also being used in India such as the Dabba trading system which uses the Telegram messaging app to facilitate the trades.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by any parties in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

What do you think of the way Indian crypto exchanges offer fiat support despite the RBI ban? Let us know in the comments section below.


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RBI Ban Hearing Delayed – Indian Supreme Court Too Busy for Crypto This Week

RBI Ban Hearing Delayed - Indian Supreme Court Too Busy for Crypto This Week

All petitions against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are supposed to have been heard by the country’s supreme court on September 11. However, the court has been busy every day this week and has postponed the RBI ban hearing.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

RBI Ban Hearing Postponed

RBI Ban Hearing Delayed - Indian Supreme Court Too Busy for Crypto This WeekThe Supreme Court of India was supposed to hear all petitions regarding the crypto banking ban by the country’s central bank on Tuesday, September 11. The RBI issued a circular banning all regulated financial institutions from providing services to crypto businesses on April 6.

As all eyes in the Indian crypto community were on the court to see if the RBI ban will be stayed, the supreme court adjourned on Tuesday without hearing the crypto case due to other cases running over time. The case was again postponed for the same reason on Wednesday and Thursday.

Furthermore, Nischal Shetty, the CEO of crypto exchange Wazirx, told news.Bitcoin.com that “It wasn’t scheduled for today [Friday] after yesterday’s delay.” Crypto Kanoon, a news and analysis platform, tweeted on Thursday:

As the arguments will continue for long in another matter, the court has adjourned all other matters including crypto matter. Matter is now likely to be listed on Tuesday [September 18].

Indian Association Tries to Get Attention of the Court

RBI Ban Hearing Delayed - Indian Supreme Court Too Busy for Crypto This WeekAmong the petitions against the RBI ban was one submitted by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The non-profit organization filed its petition in May, which was heard on July 3 and July 20, before it was postponed to September 11.

At both hearings, the court did not grant a stay on the central bank’s ban. The association also tried to educate the RBI by filing a representation explaining how blockchain and cryptocurrency work. However, their effort did not sway the central bank.

RBI Ban Hearing Delayed - Indian Supreme Court Too Busy for Crypto This WeekOn September 12, Crypto Kanoon tweeted, “As per our internal sources, IAMAI is going to mention the crypto matter at 10:30 before Court No. 9 for seeking adjournment for the purpose of filing rejoinder to the counter affidavit recently filed by one of the respondents.” The platform soon tweeted further, “The court has declined to entertain the mentioning done by IAMAI for adjournment.”

Confusion Over the RBI Affidavit

On Tuesday, September 11, CNN News18 reported that the central bank had filed an affidavit with the supreme court. The news outlet wrote:

RBI files affidavit in top court against cryptocurrency and says that it can’t recognize bitcoins under the current legal regime as virtual currencies are neither money nor currency, can’t even be considered as a valid payment system.

RBI Ban Hearing Delayed - Indian Supreme Court Too Busy for Crypto This WeekCiting this report, Indiabits, which represents a community of blockchain enthusiasts, tweeted, “supreme court to hear affidavit filed by RBI on the matter on September 17th.” It also pointed out that, based on publicly available information on the supreme court website, RBI filed a counter affidavit on September 8, with a “computer generated date” for the hearing listed as September 17.

However, disputing the above information, Crypto Kanoon claims that this RBI affidavit was the same one filed in May, which they reported on at the time, adding that the “supreme court nvr [never] posted crypto matter on 17th Sep.”

Nonetheless, the crypto community will be watching the supreme court next week to see if the crypto case will eventually be heard. Shetty shared with news.Bitcoin.com:

The case has been postponed to monday…So let’s see what happens Monday.

What do you think of the supreme court repeatedly delaying the crypto case hearing? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Former RBI Governor Stirs Up PMO India – Time For Better Banks

Former RBI Governor Stirs Up PMO India – Time For Better Banks

Bank frauds in India have opened a can of worms this year, leaving the public questioning concepts such as board, governance, public sector, bankruptcy, and investor transparency with anxiety and anger. As a former RBI Governor raises more questions with the Prime Minister’s Office, it’s time to bring crypto finance to the debate.

Also read: Thai Government Approves Crypto Exchange, Wants Own Wallet

Rajan and RBI – Fraud Concerns Continue

In a note to the Chairman of Estimates Committee, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has put together a list of high profile cases of banking frauds. It has been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for a coordinated action.

Former RBI Governor Stirs Up PMO India – Time For Better Banks
A series of financial fraud cases has been reported in India.

The note to the Parliamentary panel details serious concerns as to the rise in size of frauds in the public sector banking system. Urgency and speed has been expected by ex-RBI Rajan, who mentions use of new tools, stringent penalties for non-compliance, swift enactment of the Bankruptcy Code and an AQR (Asset Quality Review) process.

Fraud cases at a number of public sector banks – as well as private banks – have brought the opacity of the current banking business model into the spotlight along with awareness of the oversight of the Board of Directors.

Stop Spinning the Wheel – Reinvent It

A recent report on Indian digital customers by payments company FIS indicates 18% of them have reported a fraud in the past year. The most affected age group was between 27 to 37 years – also the ones who are more inclined to use digital banking apps.

With recapitalization plans as huge as Rs 1.35 trillion announced last year, and the total capital infusion into banks over the past decade rounding to some Rs 2.65 trillion as per other media reports, this is also a time to bring more transparency and disintermediation into the overall radar of RBI in India. After the 2008 crisis in the US, and bail-outs to many collapsing global economies across the world, the global financial world can use some radical ways to rethink banking and money.

Former RBI Governor Stirs Up PMO India – Time For Better Banks

Something that can complement or fill the gaps that erstwhile banking systems have inflicted upon investors and customers – something like blockchain and cryptocurrency, perhaps. Where trust is not subject to the dangers of being broken via such frauds, and where trust, ironically, exists in the DNA of a trustless system.

A decentralized fabric of transactions may not be a plug-and-play answer to some of the present woes of the BFSI sector, but it could be a parallel or phased answer perhaps. There is no harm in considering more options, including cryptocurrency-based solutions, to inject some much-needed transparency into the industry.

What solutions would you suggest to fight fraud in the banking sector? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Current Legal System Can’t Recognize Bitcoin, India’s Central Bank Tells Supreme Court

The Reserve Bank on India (RBI) on Wednesday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court to clarify its stand on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The central bank reserved its views on the legality of cryptocurrencies in India, telling the apex court that the constitution has not defined any legal system for virtual currencies. Citing the provisions … Continued

The post Current Legal System Can’t Recognize Bitcoin, India’s Central Bank Tells Supreme Court appeared first on CCN

India Cryptocurrency Winter Survivors: We Were Not Sleeping, But Hibernating

We were not sleeping, we were hibernating - Cryptocurrency winter survivors

The RBI Circular was intended to put a pause button on cryptocurrency activity in India, but as the mandate that restrained banks to be involved in this space goes through debate, protests, and court pit-stops, beneath the surface a lot has transpired. It is in the trenches where it can be shown why it is not exactly so easy to curb bitcoin action. People, like stubborn wild flowers growing on a curb, have found ways to stay sunny and continue bitcoin activity.

Also read: What happened in Iran when regulator allowed mining?

Will finds a Way

It was not the tourniquet it was intended to be. At least, not without some spills and spillovers. The RBI circular that prohibited banks and financial institutions from providing services in context of cryptocurrencies has created some confusion and hesitance, but no outright suspension of market activity in the last few months. Enthusiasts and panicked people alike have found ways to take a detour.

Having accounts in the US is one such option. Optimists like Vikash P, a practitioner of cryptocurrency who uses such means, say they will keep investing in it because they see intrinsic value and feel that’s why bitcoin has climbed so much since its inception. People are also considering Moneygram, local websites that supposedly allow local currency conversion against bitcoins, and face-to-face cash deals, as ways to trade bitcoins while the ban continues.

We were not sleeping, we were hibernating - Cryptocurrency winter survivors

Then, there is a much more pervasive alternative in the form of P2P trade where the buyer and seller deal via escrow accounts held by an exchange.

Wazirx shares that it had announced P2P as a solution before the RBI ban came into effect. “So our users knew they had a way of cashing in and out of crypto post 6th July. The demand for P2P crypto trading has turned out to be way more than anyone in the industry expected it to be. We’re overwhelmed by the massive response from all our users for Wazirx P2P.” its CEO explains.

The exchange sees more than 1 trade per minute on Wazirx P2P and calls it the highest P2P trading velocity in India. To add to that, now there is Coin Recoil that has launched in India claiming zero withdrawal fees and trading pairs with TrueUSD (which it calls a price-stable cryptocurrency backed by US Dollars). It aims to offer a fiat-to-crypto platform once necessary regulatory approvals come by.

Cathy Z from Digi Finex (that has a lot of Indian citizens in its platform’s community) feels that as long as citizens are not banned from dealing with cryptocurrencies, one can always use foreign exchanges or local exchanges that pack their bags for countries like Singapore. “Making a law is one thing and executing is a different thing altogether. Exchanges can move overseas, open services to Indian citizens and foreign players can provide services to Indian citizens. For sure, the intention of government is to protect people and not to put everyone behind bars. It is hard to trace individuals anyway. People will find ways to trade in this currency. They can try different exchanges, different VPNs and different identities too.” Staying invested is not a problem if the ban continues as Ajeeth K from Zebpay has also opined.

Bulls and Blinkers

That does not mean that the ban on INR deposits and withdrawals did not hamper trade in India. An investment player in Ahmedabad tells of how the hype has come down, and the fear of income tax department notices to some bitcoin players has also created a ‘pause’ mode in the market. People who do not understand the technology underpinnings well are the ones who easily get disoriented with its vague nature and initial media notoriety. Mohit G, a finance professional from New Delhi, also observes that volumes have been affected in India.

Fresh investments have definitely gone southwards as Sidharth S, founder of CREBACO, seconds. “Activity has dropped significantly but P2P and cash transactions are supporting people who want to cash out.” He, however, cautions that this is not what the government would have aimed at, as now it would be difficult for tax authorities to figure out a lot of movements in people’s accounts given the difficulty of grabbing the exact value of bitcoin on a particular time and day.

Hold Their Hands

“I started very late in this space anyways. I will keep investing in it,” says a confident Vikash who notes that finance sector in India is still trying to define it. Since there is no way to track the money and it is an instant transfer, it is understandable that regulators would be wary of the flight of money abroad. But with strong KYC elements in place at many exchanges, that should not be a worry anymore, he contends.

We were not sleeping, we were hibernating - Cryptocurrency winter survivors

Crypto markets are reaching around US$250 billion in Sep 2018, and could touch US$1 trillion by 2020, as per some estimates. With trading volumes as huge as US$12-14 billion worth of trades per day, there is need for guidance and balance for investors interested in a virtual currency. Ponder over these worries from Mukesh C, a cyber forensics expert, “An investor in this space has to be ‘always’ alert about regulatory swings. If tomorrow, a foreign country where s/he has an account, changes its stance on cryptocurrency; and the account and money is frozen out of the blue, what respite or recourse does an investor have?”

Sidharth S does not mince any words here. “The government has to act really fast. We cannot afford to make policies at the pace we did for software industry. The cryptoworld is too quick for bureaucracy. Government should regulate it at the right time. They cannot stop it for sure. They also cannot afford to lose revenue because the industry is moving out to other crypto-friendly regions.”

There are good and bad people in any space, Cathy Z reminds. “The good ones want to play by rules. Eventually, governments won’t be able to kill crytocurrencies. So banning something will not give regulators the results they want to achieve. Guidance and deadlines to comply will.”

 How have you dealt with the Crypto Winter? Let us know your experience and opinion in the comments section below.


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RBI Ban Hearing in Two Days – What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are Expecting

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are Expecting

The Indian supreme court will hear all petitions against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday. News.Bitcoin.com talked to the CEOs of several Indian exchanges to find out what they are expecting from the hearing, trader sentiment, their exchanges’ current trading volumes, and how they see the court’s ruling affecting the crypto community.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

The Beginning of the Journey

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are ExpectingAll eyes in the Indian crypto community are on the supreme court (SC) hearing on Tuesday, September 11, when all petitions related to the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be heard. The country’s central bank issued a circular on April 6, banning banks from providing services to crypto businesses.

In response to the ban, a number of crypto exchanges operating in India have come up with methods to allow users to continue to deposit and withdraw Indian rupees. Among them are Wazirx, Instashift, and Coindcx exchanges which offer services based on the exchange-escrowed peer-to-peer (P2P) model.

Wazirx’s CEO, Nischal Shetty, shared with news.Bitcoin.com:

The SC hearing is not the end of the road but the beginning of the crypto journey in India…If the outcome is positive then it will definitely boost trading volumes. If the outcome is negative then I don’t think there would be much impact on the existing trading volumes.

Rahul Chitale, CEO of Instashift, told news.Bitcoin.com that “The ruling will surely have some bearing and the SC’s views will shape a lot of the regulatory thinking, but it’s unlikely to have an immediate tactical impact.” Citing that similar regulatory hurdles are seen globally, he described:

Crypto will continue to thrive regardless of the government view, like we have seen worldwide. Any ruling which forces the government to precipitate taking a view on this will only benefit crypto in India in the long run.

Sumit Gupta, CEO of Coindcx, explained to news.Bitcoin.com that “All Indian exchanges and crypto traders are eyeing the SC ruling.” In the long run, however, he believes that “Indian traders will eventually find ways to invest in cryptocurrencies via some innovative channels.” Emphasizing that “a negative ruling will just shift users to P2P trading platforms,” he asserted:

A positive ruling will boost crypto trade in the Indian market like we have seen in Q3 of 2017 and we will see lakhs of new users joining exchange platforms and volumes can shoot up even higher than it was before in the next bullish run.

Trading Volumes Rise Amid RBI Ban

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are ExpectingDespite the banking ban, Shetty revealed that trading has been increasing on Wazirx, largely due to the increase in popularity of the exchange-escrowed P2P service. “Our trading volumes have been growing every week,” he said. “We were pleasantly surprised and overwhelmed by the way users have acclimatised themselves to P2P.”

For Instashift, Chitale described that “since the last set of RBI related developments in the past couple of months, we have continued to see strong 20-25% growth in trading volumes month on month over the last 2 quarters of our operation,” adding:

There is a lot of trader money still parked on the sidelines, and we continue to see a lot of it return back to the market, even in spite of the current downturn in nearly all major coins.

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are ExpectingGupta is also seeing a rise in trading volumes on Coindcx “due to its crypto-crypto nature.” However, he clarified that in general “that’s not the case,” elaborating that “Most of the Indian crypto investors are either hodling or trading rarely and hence the decline in overall volumes across exchanges. We observed that many people are also waiting to hear the SC verdict before they invest as this is also going to move crypto prices in India.”

Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO of one of India’s largest crypto exchanges, Unocoin, recently shared a similar sentiment with news.Bitcoin.com. He revealed that on his exchange, “The volumes have significantly come down as this [RBI’s ban] is not only restricting the new users joining the platform but it is also hurting the sentiments of the present users.” Unocoin currently does not offer P2P trading.

What Exchanges Are Expecting from the Ruling

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are ExpectingRegardless of the outcome of the supreme court’s hearing, “It’s business as usual for us at Instashift,” according to Chitale. He added that “Our users are mostly retail investors who are into it for the long run, and while trading volumes may fluctuate up or down…we don’t see investor demand diminishing in the shorter timeframe.”

Wazirx is also prepared for whichever direction the ruling may take. If a stay order is granted on the RBI ban, “we’ll immediately resume bank deposits and withdrawals for all our users,” Shetty confirmed, emphasizing that, otherwise, Wazirx’s P2P solution “is already working great for all the users in India.” He further detailed:

Crypto has now reached a stage where everyone has started taking it seriously in India and the majority of the young generation sees crypto as a way to invest their money…I’m banking on the SC releasing a directive asking the government to lay out regulations for crypto in India as that would enable every Indian to trade safely in crypto in the future.

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are ExpectingSharing the sentiment, Chitale explained, “We are hopeful that the ruling will cause the government to prioritize its stand and clarity on a number of aspects of crypto,” such as regarding “taxation, classification, resolve any duality in state/center views, and so on.” He reiterated that “In short, this can only lead to clarity. Any clarity will lead to trader and investor confidence thus boosting the overall market.”

Citing that “as an asset class, ‘new money’ into crypto will come on the merit of crypto and other macro factors (like capital controls, taxation etc),” he concluded that “Broadly, we don’t expect trader and retail investor sentiment to diminish in that regard.”

Similarly, Gupta confirmed that Coindcx is “already prepared for the worst and have backup plans no matter which way the ruling swings.” Nonetheless, he said:

We are hopeful and believe that the government’s careful evaluation of the blockchain and cryptocurrency space will bring out a positive ruling that protects the interests of Indian crypto traders and investors. However I strongly feel that this space will eventually get regulated in India and we will see India as one of the global leaders in the blockchain space in the next 3-4 years.

What do you think the supreme court will do and how will the ruling affect the crypto community? Let us know in the comments section below.


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India Crypto Exchanges: Supreme Court Hearing to be Inconsequential

India Crypto Exchanges: Supreme Court Hearing to be Inconsequential

While expectations and fears are mounting on an imminent Supreme Court decision about the regulator’s ban concerning cryptocurrency trade in India, the big day may not exactly be a defining one for the future of bitcoin in the country. Other questions and bypass-routes will snowball (or hairball) no matter which way the ruling swings. Crypto exchanges have smelt a lot in this run-up to the hearing.

Also Read: Indian regulators curious to study experiences of other regions

Tick Tock, Tick Tock – Crypto Exchanges Jittery?

Next week is supposed to be a major one for the ongoing debate on the circular that Indian regulator RBI issued in April banning all financial institutions from providing services in trade of virtual currencies.

This move has drawn a big yellow line for banks and payment gateways, and has halted their work with cryptocurrency. This should make affected crypto exchanges and traders worried, but if you ask Ajeet K, CEO, Zebpay (presumably India’s first bitcoin exchange), he is chewing some cud instead of nails right now.

India Crypto Exchanges: Supreme Court Hearing to be Inconsequential

“We feel that our case is very strong and we are also aware that RBI has its own considerations and compulsions. But this decision is not going to significantly define the future of bitcoins here.” He opines that regardless of the outcome, the space will find its way to blossom. If favorable, there would be other issues and nuances of regulation to be addressed as we move forth. If it pans out unfavorable? Well, then too, the plug would not be just yanked away.

Cobra Effect

In his observation, staying invested in bitcoin is not a problem for users even now. Buying and selling old ones is an issue but even that is being circumvented as we speak. There are some ways, in his reckoning, that are neither sustainable nor durable. “Why not let people have systematic and official means? By cutting the bank part in this process, authorities are only going to make room for new challenges.”

India Crypto Exchanges: Supreme Court Hearing to be Inconsequential

Looks like he has a point, as half crore users in the country are not going to stop participating in this space because of a ban. Notably, exchange-escrowed P2P trading on some crypto exchanges in India such as Wazirx and Koinex have hinted that a lot of other solutions can be offered for enabling deposit and withdrawal services for customers.

As Barry Silbert, founder of the Bitcoin Investment Trust, remarked in an interview, bitcoin adoption would progress from experimentation to a global consumer adoption phase that will arrive when companies persist in innovating and making it easier for consumers to buy, hold, and spend bitcoin.

Interestingly, an inter-departmental group was also constituted by the RBI to study and provide guidance on the desirability and feasibility of a central bank digital currency. What’s remarkable is that crypto exchanges such as Zebpay lean strongly towards KYC. Ajeet is clear on that in the face of any argument for privacy too. “Some questions have no easy answer. Look at this way. Do you want to make it easy for bad guys or help the good ones and be a good one?”

As long as users, exchanges and traders are on the side of good guys, authorities can look beyond the pixels. The next few days are gonna tell.

What do you think about the current stance of regulators and the future of bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.


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An Indian Kid and the Pastry Window of Cryptocurrency

An Indian Kid and the Pastry Window of Cryptocurrency

The average young Indian is curious and confused about cryptocurrency. They think it is cool, but right now, thanks to an interim regulatory ban, it’s a world that’s out of their reach, leaving them anxious and hungry to learn more. Do regulators and users know where to go from here?

Also read: Major Indian Bitcoin Exchange Discusses the Aftermath of RBI Ban

Cryptocurrency: Neither Here Nor ‘Their’

An Indian Kid and the Pastry Window of CryptocurrencyEver heard of the “monster behind the door” theory? It holds that what you conjure in your mind is always scaier than whatever is, or is not, actually out there.

That notion is working its spell quite well in some regions of the world and India is fighting that beast as we speak. The horror, this time, concerns various what-ifs of allowing cryptocurrency.

But there are people, specially young and curious (and not necessarily whimsical) Indians, who have seen the figure behind the door already – and if it is not a fairy that they’ve encountered, it is not a monster either.

Shripad S, 32, from Mumbai, who invested a couple of thousand rupees in bitcoin in May 2017 and exited in February 2018, says he was in love with the cryptocurrency.

“The RBI stance shifted the situation a lot, of course. But the beauty of this crypto-asset is its unprecedented ease, technology and speed. Lack of awareness and proper knowledge, however, are gaps that need to be addressed,” he explained.

His remarks hint also at how many people perceive they cannot afford bitcoin because it is expensive. They seem unaware that you can invest in fractions of a bitcoin too.

Don’t Get Scared – Get to Know It

Having certain fears or reservations about cryptocurrency is natural. Overcoming them calls for arming one’s doubts with knowledge and accurate answers.

Consider Abhishek G, 30, from New Delhi who put in a few thousand rupees for buying ethereum last year and loved the easy and smooth experience of the crypto world. “It was like buying groceries online. I had my eye on bitcoin but could not afford it that time. The crypto market was in a boom then. The government policy was not discouraging when I had invested in cryptocurrency. In fact, when I exited I made a neat profit of Rs. 60,000 on each unit.” He is wary of market volatility, but if the RBI stance changes he  states would be excited to try bitcoin now.

Volatility and the risk factor deterred the likes of another young economics graduate from Kanpur who, however, feels that if one has enough risk appetite then high volatility means high profits too. “The idea of cryptocurrency is really cool though,” he notes.

An Indian Kid and the Pastry Window of Cryptocurrency

Chet J, founder and CEO of a crowdfunding platform, sees a lot of Indians sitting with bitcoins but they seem unsure of what to do with them. He is also upbeat about the promise of cryptocurrency. “I see its long-term value. Of course, we will see corrections and the speculation part will get reduced with time.”

He is more confident of bitcoin adoption growing faster in the US and Singapore than in India, feeling that the average person here still needs a certain level of understanding of cryptocurrencies. That should explain the interim stance of the regulatory framework here. “It is a little complicated. Government is, perhaps, just trying to save people from speculation and ignorance.”

Invest, Don’t Just Fiddle

As long as one invests an amount one is comfortable putting into the market and is patient, crypto assets such as bitcoin remain attractive, Shripad stresses. Educating people about its oft-debated volatility will help them make a more informed decision.

Abhishek also opines that people need to have a long-term view of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. “They need to hold it and not just use it as a trading option with a short-term window.”

“Can we afford to lose an important business opportunity while examples like Japan and other important global economies are moving forward and showing [India] how a mix of right stakeholders and understanding can leverage this new phenomenon to one’s advantage?” Shripad finishes.

Privacy, self-determination, and the “cool-quotient” – there is a lot that is keeping Indians curious and excited about cryptocurrency, even as they wonder and debate about the many what-ifs lurking behind the door.

What do you think of the regulatory posture for cryptocurrencies in India? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.

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Major Indian Bitcoin Exchange Discusses the Aftermath of RBI Ban

Major Indian Bitcoin Exchange Discusses the Aftermath of RBI Ban

It has been about two months since the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) went into effect. News.Bitcoin.com talked to Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO and co-founder of Indian exchange Unocoin, to discuss the aftermath of the central bank’s ban.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

All Eyes on Supreme Court

Major Indian Bitcoin Exchange Discusses the Aftermath of RBI BanThe RBI issued a circular on April 6 banning all financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto businesses. The central bank gave banks three months to exit any existing relationships with companies dealing with cryptocurrencies. A number of industry participants have filed petitions with the country’s supreme court against the ban. The court is set to hear them all on September 11.

Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO and co-founder of Unocoin, one of India’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, told news.Bitcoin.com that after the RBI ban:

The volumes have significantly come down as this is not only restricting the new users joining the platform but it is also hurting the sentiments of the present users. Now everyone in this space is waiting for the apex court comments on Sept 11th.

His Bangalore-based exchange is still growing, albeit at a slower rate than previously. Currently, “We have about 20,000 users coming in on a monthly basis. In the good months, we have seen this kind of number every 3 days,” he shared.

Regulation is the Biggest Challenge

Major Indian Bitcoin Exchange Discusses the Aftermath of RBI BanThe Indian government has been drafting crypto regulation. According to Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, the draft was supposed to be ready in July. However, it has reportedly been delayed until the year’s end.

The central bank has also reportedly set up a new unit for cryptocurrencies, blockchains and artificial intelligence.

Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) sent officials to Japan, the UK, and Switzerland last fiscal year to study cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings from each of the three countries’ financial regulators.

Vishwanath commented:

Regulation has been the biggest challenge followed by sentiments of users. However, the price surge may positively influence the sentiments but the regulation can continue to be a challenge for the time being.

The Popularity of P2P and Crypto-to-Crypto Trading

Since the ban, some local crypto exchanges have come up with their solutions for INR withdrawals. The most popular method to bypass the central bank’s ban is by exchange-escrowed P2P services. News.Bitcoin.com has reported on the rise in popularity of P2P trading in India several times.

Major Indian Bitcoin Exchange Discusses the Aftermath of RBI BanEven the RBI anticipates the shift from trading on regular exchanges to P2P trading. “Developments on this front need to be monitored as some trading may shift from exchanges to peer-to-peer mode, which may also involve increased usage of cash,” the central bank wrote.

As for Unocoin’s likelihood of adding their own P2P solution, Vishwanath revealed that “presently, we do not plan to but we are evaluating.” In May, the exchange launched a crypto-to-crypto platform called Unodax, which now offers 41 trading pairs in multiple base coins. However, he described:

India’s biggest crypto population is not ready for the crypto-to-crypto trading. There is a bigger percentage of users who just buy bitcoin as an investment than trying to earn money through short-term trading.

Meanwhile, another major Indian exchange, Zebpay, announced on September 4 that it will return all users’ Indian rupees on deposit at the exchange. Citing the RBI ban, the exchange wrote, “We have been distressed at the raw deal crypto-traders are getting in India as a result of the banking problems.” Zebpay will begin the refund process on September 5. “While it is not possible for us to speak on behalf of our banks, we intend to return your money to you as soon as possible,” the exchange reiterated.

What do you think of how the RBI’s banking ban affects the crypto industry? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Indian Officials Visit Regulators in Japan, UK, Switzerland to Study Crypto

Indian Officials Visit Regulators in Japan, UK, Switzerland to Study Crypto

The Securities and Exchange Board of India has sent officials to Japan, the UK, and Switzerland to study cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings from each of the three countries’ financial regulators. The securities watchdog aims to engage with international regulators and gain a deeper understanding of their crypto mechanisms and systems in order to improve its own process.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Officials Sent to Japan, UK, and Switzerland

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) revealed in its annual report 2017-18 that it sent some officials to three countries to study how the regulators there deal with cryptocurrencies.

Indian Officials Visit Regulators in Japan, UK, Switzerland to Study CryptoThe report explains,“SEBI on a regular basis enables study tour of SEBI officials to overseas authorities. These study tours help engage with the international regulators and gain [a] deeper understanding of the systems and mechanisms.” The securities watchdog noted that in the past, it “has benefited a lot from these experiences and the knowledge transfer helps improve the processes within SEBI.”

For the fiscal year 2017-18, the regulator detailed:

SEBI organised study tours to Financial Services Agency (FSA) Japan, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) UK, and Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) Switzerland to study initial coin offerings and cryptocurrencies.

RBI Also Observes Foreign Regulators

SEBI is not the only Indian regulator to pay attention to other jurisdictions. Recently, the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), published its annual report for 2017-18 with a section on cryptocurrency. After referencing how a few foreign regulators deal with crypto, the central bank wrote:

On a global level, regulatory responses to cryptocurrency have ranged from a complete clamp down in some jurisdictions to a comparatively ‘light touch regulatory approach’…Japan and South Korea account for the biggest shares of crypto asset markets in the world.

Indian Officials Visit Regulators in Japan, UK, Switzerland to Study CryptoThe RBI also confirmed it is “keeping a close watch on cryptocurrency,” reiterating that it issued a circular, banning banks from providing services to crypto businesses.

When the circular was issued in April, Quartz quoted Shubham Yadav, co-founder of Indian crypto exchange Coindelta, commenting that “several firms are looking at registering their head offices out of India.” The news outlet added that these locations include Singapore, Switzerland, Estonia, Malta, Japan, Dubai, and the Cayman Islands.

Crypto Regulations in India

The Indian government has been working on cryptocurrency regulations. According to Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, the proposal was supposed to be ready in July. Garg heads the panel, set up in December last year, tasked with proposing crypto regulations. However, it was reported earlier this month that the regulations are unlikely to be ready before the year-end.

Meanwhile, the country’s supreme court is hearing all petitions against the central bank’s crypto banking ban on September 11. SEBI will also be at the hearing. The crypto industry is hopeful that the court will lift the ban imposed by the RBI.

What do you think of SEBI sending officials to learn about crypto from regulators in Japan, the UK, and Switzerland? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Reserve Bank of India Anticipates Shift to P2P Crypto Trading

Reserve Bank of India Anticipates Shift to P2P Crypto Trading

India’s central bank has released its latest annual report which includes a section dedicated to cryptocurrency. The Reserve Bank of India outlines the risks posed by crypto and emphasizes the need to monitor crypto development in anticipation that some trading may shift from exchanges to peer-to-peer (P2P) mode.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Risks to Monetary Policy

Reserve Bank of India Anticipates Shift to P2P Crypto TradingThe Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank, published on Wednesday its 268-page annual report for 2017-18.

While asserting that “the cryptocurrency eco-system may affect the existing payment and settlement system which could, in turn, influence the transmission of monetary policy,” the central bank wrote:

Though cryptocurrency may not currently pose systemic risks, its increasing popularity leading to price bubbles raises serious concerns for consumer and investor protection, and market integrity.

A Shift to Peer-to-Peer

Reserve Bank of India Anticipates Shift to P2P Crypto TradingThe annual report also confirms that the government and the central bank “are keeping a close watch on cryptocurrency.”

Referring to the circular it issued in April banning all financial institutions from providing services to “any individual or business entities dealing with or settling in virtual currencies,” RBI reiterated:

Developments on this front need to be monitored as some trading may shift from exchanges to peer-to-peer mode, which may also involve increased usage of cash. Possibilities of migration of crypto exchange houses to dark pools/cash and to offshore locations…require close watch.

Since the RBI ban, crypto exchanges in India have come up with solutions to continue providing Indian rupee deposit and withdrawal services to their customers. One solution that is growing in popularity is through exchange-escrowed P2P trading.

RBI Sees Additional Risks

Reserve Bank of India Anticipates Shift to P2P Crypto TradingRBI claims that cryptocurrencies are “prone to hacking and operational risk” because they are stored in electronic wallets. In addition, the central bank sees “a high possibility of its usage for illicit activities, including tax avoidance.”

Emphasizing that crypto lacks an “established framework for recourse to customer problems/ dispute resolution as payments by cryptocurrencies take place on a peer-to-peer basis without an authorised central agency which regulates such payments,” RBI detailed:

The absence of information on counterparties in such peer-to-peer anonymous/pseudonymous systems could subject users to unintentional breaches of anti-money laundering laws (AML) as well as laws for combating the financing of terrorism (CFT).

Furthermore, the report mentions that a number of central banks around the world are exploring central bank digital currencies. “In India, an inter-departmental group has been constituted by the Reserve Bank to study and provide guidance on the desirability and feasibility to introduce a central bank digital currency,” the report reads.

What do you think of RBI’s opinions? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Indian Exchange Resumes Fiat Deposits and Withdrawals Using New Method

Indian Exchange Resumes Fiat Deposits and Withdrawals Using New Method

An Indian cryptocurrency exchange has come up with a new method to allow its users to deposit and withdraw rupees despite the crypto banking ban by the country’s central bank. The exchange also guarantees that rupee requests will be processed within 30 minutes or the user will receive ten free XRP credited to their account.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Creative Ways Around RBI Ban

Indian Exchange Resumes Fiat Deposits and Withdrawals Using New MethodThe Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, issued a circular in April banning all financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto exchanges. The ban went into effect in July and banks began closing accounts of crypto exchanges, prompting a number of them to come up with creative solutions for INR deposits and withdrawals. Some launched exchange-escrowed peer-to-peer (P2P) services; some crypto-to-crypto trading.

One crypto exchange in particular claims to have found a way around the ban. Giottus, which also offers exchange-escrowed P2P trading service, reopened its fiat support despite the RBI ban. The platform offers BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, and LTC trading pairs.

Giottus wrote on its website:

Get your INR processed within 30 mins of placing your request, else get 10 XRP credited to your Giottus account.

The exchange explained that INR withdrawals are only processed during banking hours, adding that “withdrawal requests received after 5 p.m. will take a maximum of 10 hrs or will be credited [the] next day (whichever is earliest).”

Giottus’ Method

Indian Exchange Resumes Fiat Deposits and Withdrawals Using New MethodGiottus co-founder and COO, Arjun Vijay, recently explained to Ambcrypto publication that his exchange is able to offer INR deposit and withdrawal services “by identifying specific traders who can process deposits and withdrawals quickly. This is still done through P2P, allowing the traders to still function normally,” the news outlet conveyed and quoted Vijay saying:

We have now started processing INR deposits and withdrawals through these selected P2P partners and they currently on average process requests within 15 minutes. As a safety measure, we take collateral from these P2P partners, and these partners, as service fee charge 0.2% for the deposits and 0.2% for the withdrawals.

Vijay further noted that traders can process volumes of up to approximately 60-70 percent of their collateral deposited with the exchange before additional collateral is required.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by any parties in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

What do you think of Giottus’ method to let customers deposit and withdraw rupees amid RBI’s ban? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Reserve Bank of India Forms Unit on Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, AI

Reserve Bank of India Forms Unit on Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, AI

The central bank of India has reportedly formed a special unit tasked to track emerging technologies such as those related to cryptocurrencies. Its members will be expected to research, draft rules, and, in the future, supervise the development of digital assets, blockchain and artificial intelligence applications. 

Also read: Report: North Korea to Hold a Crypto Conference

RBI Team to Track Crypto Developments

Reserve Bank of India Forms Unit on Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, AIIn an obvious attempt to improve its own capacity in the field, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has gathered experts in a newly formed unit that will be responsible for tracking crypto, blockchain and artificial intelligence technologies, The Economic Times reported quoting two sources familiar with RBI’s plans.

According to the report, the new unit will be tasked to research the emerging tech but also prepare rules and supervise the sector at some point in the future. One of the individuals cited in the article commented:

As a regulator, the RBI also has to explore new emerging areas to check what can be adopted and what cannot. A central bank has to be on top to create regulations. This new unit is on an experimental basis and will evolve as time passes.

No formal announcement about the new team has been made yet and the RBI has not responded to media queries for more details. Nevertheless, the publication notes that the unit was formed about a month ago and the bank’s management has already appointed its leader.

The outlet also quotes another expert on the topic. According to Piyush Singh, managing director of financial services for Asia Pacific and Africa at Accenture, unless regulators are part of the ecosystem, they understand and have a clear indication of what is accepted and what is not, they can neither protect the regulated industry nor the consumers who use it. Singh believes the RBI is doing the right thing at a time when new technologies are changing business models.

Researching, Despite Warning and Banning

The news about the forming of the research unit comes after multiple warnings against engaging in crypto transactions issued by the Indian central bank. In December of last year the RBI highlighted a number of crypto-related risks of economic, financial and legal character. This year, the bank ordered all regulated financial institutions to quit providing services to businesses and individuals dealing in cryptocurrencies.

Reserve Bank of India Forms Unit on Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, AIThe ban went into effect in July, despite attempts by representatives of the crypto sector to challenge it in court. In two hearings of the filed petitions, the Supreme Court of India did not grant a stay against the ban and eventually scheduled the final hearing for September 11.

In the meantime, Indian officials have been working on a regulatory framework for the crypto industry. Early statements that the draft regulations would be ready in July were later followed by another estimate – the Indian government is now expected to issue detailed cryptocurrency guidelines by September, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. Consultations with stakeholders are underway.

Do you think the RBI will eventually change its attitude towards cryptocurrencies? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


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P2P Exchange Options Increasing for Crypto Traders in India

P2P Exchange Options Increasing for Crypto Traders in India

Since the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, banned banks from providing services to cryptocurrency businesses, traders are increasingly trading on peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms. Local crypto exchanges have come up with a number of exchange-escrowed P2P solutions.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Localbitcoins

Trading volumes in both the Indian rupee (INR) and BTC increased on Localbitcoins between the week of April 7, when the RBI issued its circular, and the week of August 18. The INR trading volume increased 25 percent, from 68 million rupees (~US$974,561) to 85 million rupees (~$1,218,201). The number of BTC traded increased about 23 percent from 150 BTC to 184 BTC.

P2P Exchange Options Increasing for Crypto Traders in India

Earlier this month, news.Bitcoin.com reported that Indian traders have also found some other creative ways to trade cryptocurrencies amid RBI’s ban including Dabba trading via Telegram.

Exchange-Escrowed Marketplaces

P2P Exchange Options Increasing for Crypto Traders in IndiaThe Mumbai-based Koinex is offering an exchange-escrowed P2P service called Loop for the trading of BTC, ETH, and XRP. Founder and CEO Rahul Raj explained to Inc42 that “buyers and sellers on Loop can create their own listings (like a marketplace) or explore existing listings to choose their best trades.”

He elaborated, “while it’s still early days, Loop has been very well received by the Indian trading community and we are seeing increasing traction every day,” adding:

Other key aspects of Loop include a user rating mechanism, cancellation option for sellers, listing modification, dynamic pricing, cleansing of stale listings, and a host of other features to ensure only genuine and legitimate trading on the platform.

Another crypto exchange, Coindelta, has created an exchange-escrowed P2P system called Flux. BTC, ETH, XRP, and USDT can be transferred directly between Coindelta and Flux, but other cryptocurrencies must be converted to USDT on Coindelta before sending to Flux.

Auto-Matching Orders

P2P Exchange Options Increasing for Crypto Traders in IndiaThe Wazirx P2P system uses USDT in transactions. Sellers convert their cryptocurrencies to tether and sell them for rupees and buyers convert their rupees into tether to trade on the exchange. “Wazirx acts as an escrow account for holding the cryptos during the transaction,” the exchange described.

Orders are automatically matched by the exchange, CEO Nischal Shetty told news.Bitcoin.com:

The auto-matching open order book in P2P has never been attempted before and people love the ease.

Furthermore, Wazirx tweeted on August 25, “Wazirx has the cheapest price for crypto in India.”

Incentives for Depositing INR

Crypto exchange Bitbns also recently launched P2P transaction functionality which has been updated several times. Last week, the company announced an incentive scheme for anyone depositing INR in order to speed up order matching. The exchange explained:

We have introduced an option that allows withdrawers to tip depositors as per their wish. The tip could be anything in the denominations of 0.1 i.e 0%, 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.3%, and so on up to 1% of the transaction amount.

However, some users have complained on social media about not being able to withdraw funds. Some also said that they have been scammed on the exchange’s Telegram group by people pretending to be Bitbns’ admin.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by any parties in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Stablecoins Gaining Popularity in India to Minimize Central Bank’s Impact

Stablecoins Gaining Popularity in India to Minimize Central Bank’s Impact

A growing number of cryptocurrency exchanges in India are adding stablecoins such as trueusd (TUSD) and tether (USDT) to their platforms. They are part of the solutions exchanges have come up with in order to minimize the impact of the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Unocoin Adds TUSD

Stablecoins Gaining Popularity in India to Minimize Central Bank’s ImpactUnocoin, one of India’s largest crypto exchanges, announced on Wednesday the addition of TUSD to its crypto-to-crypto platform, Unodax. An ERC-20 token built on the Trusttoken platform, each TUSD is said to be backed by one USD held in reserve which can be redeemed. Unodax currently offers 23 TUSD trading pairs including BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, and XRP.

“The decision [to add TUSD] has been taken to minimise the RBI circular’s impact on cryptocurrency investors and traders,” Inc42 reported. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, issued the circular banning banks from providing services to crypto companies on April 6.

The publication quoted the exchange’s CEO and co-founder, Sathvik Vishwanath, commenting on the addition:

After the RBI banned bank transfers for crypto trading and investments, we were looking for the plausible solutions to help our users continue to hodl, without any disruptions and hassles.

“With trueusd, we are excited to present our users with a long-awaited stable trading plan for crypto-assets traders on our Unodax exchange,” he continued. “Crypto enthusiasts may use this stable coin as a medium of exchange for other crypto-assets and minimise their risks in a volatile market.”

Zebpay Slashes Withdrawal Fee for TUSD

Stablecoins Gaining Popularity in India to Minimize Central Bank’s ImpactAnother major crypto exchange in India, Zebpay, added TUSD to its platform earlier this week, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

The exchange also slashed withdrawal fees for multiple currencies. For TUSD, “withdrawal fees are zero till 31st August 2018.” Zebpay wrote:

You can now buy, sell and trade TUSD in two trading pairs: TUSD-INR and BTC-TUSD.

Wazirx Uses USDT in P2P, Adds TUSD

Stablecoins Gaining Popularity in India to Minimize Central Bank’s ImpactCrypto exchange Wazirx launched an escrowed “P2P” service on July 10 that uses tether to enable users to deposit and withdraw INR in an effort to bypass RBI’s ban. Issued on the Bitcoin blockchain via the Omni Layer protocol, each USDT is backed by one USD that Tether Limited claims is held in reserve and can be redeemed for cash. Wazirx has also added TUSD as a deposit option.

The exchange explained that USDT is used “to make stability and crazy liquidity happen,” elaborating:

While building Wazirx P2P, we realized that since crypto price fluctuations are beyond our control, we needed to bring in a stable coin…Since we wanted to add the stable coin with the highest liquidity in the global market, we’ve decided to go with tether.

More Indian Exchanges Offering TUSD and USDT

On Saturday, August 11, Zecoex announced that it has introduced the TUSD trade markets for BTC, ETH, and XRP pairs.

Stablecoins Gaining Popularity in India to Minimize Central Bank’s ImpactCoindelta has also added USDT for trading, deposits, and withdrawals. Trading against INR was enabled on July 19 and against the platform’s long list of cryptocurrencies on July 24. The exchange noted, “USDT is a stable coin, the value of USDT is always tethered to the US dollar price. This makes it easy for people to hold their funds.”

Koinex introduced TUSD on July 6 and aims for this trading market to serve as an alternative to INR as a stable currency. Users can deposit and trade TUSD against INR, BTC, ETH, and XRP. The exchange detailed:

With the absence of INR corridors, we began to find a suitable alternative to the stability of digital assets against fiat currency. After sincere efforts, we are glad to announce the introduction of trueusd (TUSD) as a stable coin on Koinex.

What do you think of Indian exchanges using stablecoins to minimize RBI’s impact? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Huge Demand for ‘P2P’ Crypto Trading Seen in India After RBI Ban

Huge Demand for 'P2P' Crypto Trading Seen in India After RBI Ban

Exchange-escrowed trading directly between cryptocurrency buyers and sellers is growing in popularity in India following the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank. One local exchange, in particular, is seeing “tremendous” response from Indian traders for this service as “tens of thousands of new users have signed up” in a month.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Indians Warming Up to New Solution

Huge Demand for 'P2P' Crypto Trading Seen in India After RBI BanSince the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), banned banks from providing fiat service to crypto companies, local cryptocurrency exchanges have come up with solutions for their users to be able to withdraw Indian rupees. One popular solution is exchange-escrowed trading which local exchanges call peer-to-peer (P2P) trading.

Indian crypto exchange Wazirx launched this service about a month ago. CEO Nischal Shetty told news.Bitcoin.com that the response from traders for this service has been “tremendous,” stating:

People love P2P…Everyone had their doubts whether P2P would work or not, the convenience etc…[But now] We’re seeing above 1 trade match every minute happening in P2P…we’re talking about peer-to-peer transactions at a rate of more than 1 per minute.

He further revealed, “tens of thousands of new users have signed up on Wazirx after we introduced P2P. In fact we got more signups in the last 2 weeks than we got in the last 2 months.”

Platforms With Similar Services

Huge Demand for 'P2P' Crypto Trading Seen in India After RBI BanThe Wazirx P2P system was built “to replicate how a traditional order book in an exchange behaves,” the CEO described. It uses tether (USDT) in transactions. Sellers convert their cryptocurrencies to USDT and sell them for rupees. Buyers convert their rupees into USDT which can be used to trade any cryptocurrencies on the exchange. “Wazirx acts as an escrow account for holding the cryptos during the transaction,” the exchange detailed.

“The P2P system has replaced the previous system of depositing fiat into Wazirx account and in return getting INR balance in your account,” Shetty explained to news.Bitcoin.com. “What happens now is that you deposit the fiat into another user’s account and get USDT in return…After you get USDT, you can trade in our USDT market in the regular way (non P2P).”

Furthermore, orders are automatically matched by the exchange. “The auto matching open order book in P2P has never been attempted before and people love the ease,” he noted, elaborating:

In most cases, P2P is even faster than the traditional method of deposits and withdrawals people here were used to because in P2P if the person is active online then they would immediately do the money transfer to the peer’s bank account.

Huge Demand for 'P2P' Crypto Trading Seen in India After RBI BanA few other exchanges also offer similar solutions. Coindelta, for example, launched its P2P exchange called Flux on July 26. Users can transfer their BTC, ETH, XRP and USDT between the main Coindelta exchange and Flux. Other cryptos must be converted to USDT on the Coindelta exchange first before sending to Flux.

A popular exchange-escrowed service in the country that uses a classified-style order book listing is Loop by Koinex crypto exchange. Currently, only BTC, ETH, and XRP are listed on the platform for trade.

Zecoex and Giottus crypto exchanges also offer services where users can make offers to sell from their crypto balances and then wait for buyers to select them from a list of available offers. Another exchange for Indians, Instashift, offers a platform for users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies between each other for five fiat currencies, including the Indian rupee.

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by any parties in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Indians Use Creative Means to Trade Bitcoin Amid RBI Ban

Indians Use Creative Means to Trade Bitcoin Amid RBI Ban

Indian crypto traders have found some creative ways to trade cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin, to circumvent the crypto banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank. The Reserve Bank of India has banned financial institutions from providing services to companies dealing in cryptocurrency.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Money Finds a Way

Indians Use Creative Means to Trade Bitcoin Amid RBI BanFollowing the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which went into effect last month, Indian traders are finding multiple ways to bypass the ban.

One of the methods they are using is referred to as Dabba trading, Business Today recently reported:

Ever since the banks were stopped from providing financial services to digital exchanges, the trade of bitcoin through Dabba trading has increased manifold.

Indians Use Creative Means to Trade Bitcoin Amid RBI BanIn Dabba trading, brokers do not execute trades on a “system connected with commodity or stock exchange,” the news outlet described. Instead, they transfer “money through hawala network” and trade “using an overseas bank trading account,” most of which are based in Europe, especially the UK and Dubai.

While “mostly used for trading in stocks,” the publication explained that this method “has seen an upsurge as traditional Dabba operators are accepting bets on bitcoin too, giving a boost to their overall earning,” adding:

Such traders are based out of Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Kolkata and Mumbai. They work as a bridge between a customer and foreign trading company. The broker accepts money in cash, buys bitcoins using an overseas trading account and sells them when the bet placed in India is settled. The difference is paid in cash to the customer.

Where are the Deals Happening?

Indians Use Creative Means to Trade Bitcoin Amid RBI BanMost Dabba deals are done “via messaging app Telegram, cloud-based instant messaging service with end-to-end encryption and the money in cash is routed through the hawala channels,” the publication detailed.

Citing that “such deals are also happening through official channels like brokers who maintain bank accounts in India as well as overseas,” the news outlet elaborated:

The money is then routed through official or unofficial channels to the foreign account where bitcoins are bought and sold. The money is usually paid in cash or cheque to the investor following the deduction of commission or any loss.

Cash and P2P Markets

The use of physical cash for crypto trading has also surged since the RBI ban took effect, the news outlet noted. “The cash market existed way before the RBI diktat on cryptocurrencies but it has now flourished as people with illicit cash are using it to earn more money.”

In addition, a number of crypto exchanges in India have launched peer-to-peer (P2P) trading solutions to circumvent the ban. News.Bitcoin.com recently reported on a few crypto exchanges launching P2P trading services – Koinex, Wazirx, and Coindelta. A few others such as Giottus, Instashift, and Zecoex also offer some forms of P2P systems. Furthermore, Chinese exchange Huobi has reportedly said that it will launch P2P trading in India.

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What do you think of Indians using these methods to bypass RBI’s ban? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Indian Government-Appointed Commission Recognizes Crypto as Means of Payment

Indian Government-Appointed Commission Recognizes Crypto as Means of Payment

The law commission established by the order of the Indian government has issued a report recognizing cryptocurrency as a means of payment. This is reportedly the first time that a body appointed by the government admitted cryptocurrencies have value and can be used in transactions.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Government-Appointed Body Recognizes Crypto

Indian Government-Appointed Commission Recognizes Crypto as Means of PaymentThe Law Commission of India recently published a report on the legal framework for gambling and sports betting in India. The 140-page report explains that gambling is defined as the act of “wagering or betting on games of chance but does not include betting or wagering on games of skill.” Wagering and betting are subsequently defined as “the staking of money or virtual currency [VC], whether or not it is equivalent to a recognized currency.”

The commission was established by the order of the Indian government to advise them on legal reforms. It was asked by the country’s supreme court in July 2016 to examine if betting should be legalized in India.

According to the report:

The issue of online gambling has further been worsened by the rise in popularity and ease of availability of VC, a form of electronic money.

Indian Government-Appointed Commission Recognizes Crypto as Means of PaymentThe commission noted that gambling with cryptocurrencies “pushes even the online gambling market underground, and very often, out of the reach of the law enforcement authorities.”

While proposing that “stringent law(s) should be put in place to control foreign direct investment and at the same time, to prevent money laundering, while also implementing necessary tax reforms,” the commission wrote in the report’s conclusions and recommendations section:

Similar restrictions should also be prescribed for the purpose of the amount one would be allowed to stake while using electronic money facilities of the likes of credit cards, debit cards, net-banking, VCs, etc.

The report additionally states that “gambling transactions should be made cashless, making use of electronic means of payment such as credit cards, debit cards, net-banking, virtual currencies (VC – also known as cryptocurrency), etc.”

Implication of the Law Commission’s Report

Indian Government-Appointed Commission Recognizes Crypto as Means of PaymentThe report also cites the April 6 circular issued by the Indian central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), banning banks from providing services to crypto businesses.

Last week, the Indian supreme court heard some petitions relating to crypto regulation and the RBI ban. While the crypto community was hopeful that the court would hear all the petitions and perhaps even grant a temporary stay on the RBI ban, the court reportedly did not hear all the cases and proceeded to set the final hearing date to September 11, allowing time for RBI and other regulators involved to respond to the petition.

Commenting on the law commission’s proposal, Nischal Shetty, CEO of crypto exchange Wazirx, told Quartz:

It is the first time that a body appointed by the government has given recognition to virtual currencies that they have value and can be used for a transaction … Therefore, it is a very positive sign, especially considering the report has come out after a lot of deliberation.

Tuhina Joshi, an associate at legal firm TRA Law which represents several crypto exchanges, was quoted by the publication, “the law commission recommends that regulating gambling is preferable to an outright ban. This is the same argument we are making in context of cryptocurrencies.”

What do you think of the law commission’s proposal? Let us know in the comments section below.


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India Exchange Unocoin Suspends Withdrawals Following Central Bank Demands

India Exchange Unocoin Suspends Withdrawals Following Central Bank Demands

“Deposits/Withdrawals Notice,” came the post title from popular Indian cryptocurrency exchange Unocoin this week. “As per orders from RBI,” the exchange explained, “bank INR withdrawals and INR Deposits have temporarily been disabled. Once an alternative method of funding is identified and deployed, we will resume the deposit and withdrawal services.”

Also read: Cryptowhispers: DDoS Attacks, Major Exec in Serious Crash, Twitter Drama

India Crypto Exchange Unocoin Suspends Withdrawals and Deposits to Comply with Central Bank Orders

Ahead of an anticipated regulatory move and potential clarification by the government of India on the subject of cryptocurrencies, popular exchange Unocoin suspended fiat deposits and withdrawals, noting “Cryptoasset(coin) deposits and withdrawals are ON @ Unocoin & Unodax; Using INR Balance Buy and Sell of BTC/ETH is ON @ Unocoin; Crypto-rupee and crypto-crypto pair trading are ON @ Unodax.”

India Exchange Unocoin Suspends Withdrawals Following Central Bank Demands

RBI is the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank; INR is the international short expression for the India rupee (₹), its fiat currency. Traditional banks were placed under strict orders this spring by the RBI to stop dealing in cryptocurrencies altogether.

Exchanges filed suit, a petition, against the RBI’s policy, making its way eventually to the Supreme Court of India. Just days ago, the Court upheld the central bank’s decision, suggesting a definitive ruling on the issue will come this fall.   

Workarounds

As a measure to mitigate against drawing further ire from officials, exchanges such as Unocoin have tried to find workarounds. Crypto trades for crypto is one step, and it does appear peer-to-peer arrangements will only see benefit from the crackdown.

India Exchange Unocoin Suspends Withdrawals Following Central Bank DemandsJust recently, the company’s Unodax revealed 17 crypto-only trading pairs, including bases made from bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum, and XRP. BTC is matched, for example, with BCH/BTC, ETH/BTC, LTC/BTC, XRP/BTC, BTG/BTC, GNT/BTC, CVC/BTC, ZRX/BTC, and OMG/BTC.

As we recently reported, “an unnamed senior official from the Ministry of Finance” insisted they’ve already drafted regulatory language and “consultation is on with all the stakeholders…before coming up with the final paper. We expect it to be ready by September. ‘The ministry has constituted an interdisciplinary committee under the chairmanship of Special Secretary (Economic Affairs) to examine the regulatory framework regarding virtual currency,’ [a regional publication] detailed. ‘SEBI and RBI have expressed some reservations regarding clauses in the initial draft.'”

What do you think ultimately the government of India will decide? Let us know in the comments section below. 


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