In our modern day and age, everyone seems to be worried about money – how much we have, how much we earn and how much we spend all seem to be issues of constant and paramount importance. Amidst it all, concerns about the security of our money have also made their way to the forefront. And with the rise of Bitcoin, safety has become so worrisome that trading platforms in India have begun to temporarily close up shop.
The Central Bank of India has released a public warning about the risks of Bitcoin, the virtual currency that has been steadily gaining popularity. Since the warning was issued, a number of Indian Bitcoin trading platforms have shut down until further specifications for trading can be established.
BuySellBitCo.in, the largest Bitcoin trading platform in India, was first to shut down; it has seen approximately 12 million rupees’ worth of Bitcoin transactions every month, but the Central Bank’s warning seems to have them rethinking. A statement posted on the site says that they have “[suspended] buy and sell operations until we can outline a clearer framework with which to work.” The website was clear, however, that the shutdown was put into effect “to protect the interest of our customers and in no way is a reflection of Bitcoin’s true potential or price.” Following BuySellBitCo.in’s lead, a myriad of smaller Bitcoin platforms have shut down as well.
The Central Bank had warned traders of Bitcoin’s potential to be used in money laundering and terrorist funding. While no official bans or restrictions were put out, individual Indian Bitcoin traders rapidly sold off their currency in the wake of the warning, leading to a late-evening trade spike before the shutdown. The warning could point to further restrictions in the future as Bitcoin continues to grow in popularity; just last week, China banned Bitcoin from being used by financial institutions and third-party payment providers.
Safety does come first, as the saying goes, and it will be interesting to see how safe Bitcoin can be as it continues to edge forward as a viable currency.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker
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