India’s war on cryptocurrency intensifies, restrictions come into force

The Zebpay exchange announces it’s removing the option to deposit or withdraw Indian Rupees, as the Reserve Bank Of India’s cryptocurrency restrictions come into force.

Earlier this year, the Reserve Bank Of India announced that it was withdrawing support for cryptocurrency businesses, declaring that entities regulated by it were prohibited from dealing with, or settling, virtual currencies.

Whilst this hasn’t come directly from the Indian government, it instantly made India a country very unfriendly towards cryptocurrency. It’s not outright law, but it may as well be.

Now, India’s Supreme Court had rejected appeals for a stay on the Reserve Bank Of India’s ruling. It had been hoped that the decision to make all financial institutions in India cease any cryptocurrency operations could at the very least be put on hold. But not so. As such, from now, the Reserve Bank Of India’s directive now comes into force.

Cryptocurrencies, to be clear, aren’t banned in India. But doing business in the country just got a whole lot more difficult.

Already, it’s having ramifications. Zebpay, India’s most prominent cryptocurrency exchange, has already announced that it’s disabled all fiat activity from its platform. You can no longer deposit or withdraw in Indian Rupees from its service.

Here’s its announcement Tweet…

This isn’t a surprise, of course, and Zebpay had been preparing for the worst. But the Indian-based cryptocurrency community is now left somewhat in limbo, looking for some kind of guidance from its government as to what happens next.

What’s clear is that as of today, the bank’s ruling now prohibits entities from “providing any service in relation to virtual currencies, including those of transfer or receipt of money in accounts relating to the purchase or sale of virtual currencies”. Zebpay is unlikely to be the only one affected to announce its response this week.

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