India’s cenbank tells lenders to re-consider ties with crypto exchanges

Cut ties with cryptocurrency

India’s central bank is informally urging lenders to cut ties with cryptocurrency exchanges and traders as the highly speculative market booms, despite a Supreme Court ruling that banks can work with the industry, three sources told Reuters

The guidance comes as India is crafting a law to ban cryptocurrencies and penalize anyone dealing in them, which would be among the most sweeping crackdowns on the new investing fad in the world. But with the COVID-19 crisis engulfing the country, no one is sure when such a bill may be passed, adding to investors’ confusion.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2018 had forbidden banks from dealing in all transactions related to bitcoin and other such assets. That diktat was challenged by the crypto exchanges and in March 2020, India’s top court overturned the RBI ban and allowed lenders to extend banking facilities to them.

With investors continuing to rush into the hot new asset class, however, regulators appear to be gearing up for another try.

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