HDFC Bank has banned the buying of Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies via its bank’s debit, credit and prepaid cards. Apart from Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies, the bank has disallowed customers from buying any virtual currency too via HDFC issued cards.
In a circular to the HDFC Bank customers, it said: “You may be aware of the increasing global apprehensions regarding Bitcoins, cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies. The Reserve Bank of India has also cautioned the public regarding the potential economic, operational, legal and security-related risks associated in dealing with such currencies.”
“To ensure our customer’s security, we have decided to not permit usage of HDFC Bank Credit, Debit and Prepaid Cards towards purchase or trading of such Bitcoins, cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies, on merchants suspected to be dealing in crypto-currency or online foreign exchange trading or both,” the circular added.
However, HDFC is not the first bank to take a step of this sorts against cryptocurrency. Earlier in mid-February, Citi Bank had banned its customers from buying cryptocurrencies using credit and debit cards.
It said in an email circular: “Given concerns, both globally and locally including from the Reserve Bank of India, cautioning members of the public regarding the potential economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks associated in dealing with bitcoins, cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies, Citi India has decided to not permit usage of its credit and debit cards towards purchase or trading of such bitcoins, cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies.”
The government has been against bitcoin or such cryptocurrency trading and Arun Jaitley on January 1, 2018 emphasised the same. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Bitcoins or such crypto-currencies are not legal tender and those indulging in such transactions are doing it at their own risk. During the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha.
DMK member Kanimozhi sought to know whether the government was considering regulating crypto-currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, as India “accounts for more than 11 per cent” of such trade globally.