Just a month after Citi India banned its customers from using its debit and credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and others, HDFC Bank has now disallowed its customers to do the same. HDFC Bank credit, debit, and prepaid cards would not be permitted to make a purchase of Bitcoins, cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies on merchants suspected to be dealing in crypto-currency or online foreign exchange trading or both, a circular issued by the bank to its customers said. Worldwide, Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies are under intense scrutiny in the last few months or such. Even Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued repeated cautionary notices to the public making them aware about the potential economic, operational, legal and security-related risks associated with digital currencies. In January this year, SBI, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Yes Bank had suspended bank accounts of premier Bitcoin exchanges running in the country.
In his 2018 budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had emphasised on the same subject and announced that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender. He also said that those dealing in such currencies are operating at their own risk. India is home to over 11 percent of cryptocurrency trade held all across the world.
Bitcoin price on downturn
Price of popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin was recorded at $9,124.35 down 0.22 percent on Coindesk exchange at the time of reporting. Bitcoin price has seen substantial erosion in this year so far due to news about an imminent crackdown in different parts of the world. From the high of nearly $20,000 in the later part of the last year, Bitcoin price has reached around $9,000 this year till date. There is a long way to go for it to regain the highs of the last year.
Over 500 startups related with digital technology have raised capital by making sale of their cryptocurrencies all across the world, Reuters reported. It is a latest trend for startups to raise funds by selling cryptocurrencies or token which help them in sidestepping lending institutions or venture capital firms as intermediaries.