Bitcoin India

India joins China clamping down on Bitcoins.

Bitcoin is feeling the pinch in another BRIC.  BRIC is a common acronym used to refer to the emerging global markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China.  While Bitcoins have taken hold in Brazil and Russia, this is mot the case in the IC of BRIC. China and India have recently cracked down on the cyrpto-currency.  A few weeks ago China effectively stopped most finance companies in the mainland from dealing in Bitcoins.

This week, the Reserve Bank of India issued a public advisory detailing the risks of using Bitcoin and other digital currencies. India’s central bank statement claimed that Bitcoins have no intrinsic value  and “seems to be a matter of speculation.” 

Soon after, India’s biggest Bitcoin exchange BuySellBitCo.in suspended most buying and selling operations pending a clearer framework from the Indian regulators.  “We are suspending buy and sell operations until we can outline a clearer framework with which to work,” BuySellBitCo.in said on its website, adding that the move was a conservative move to protect the interest of Indian Bitcoin customers.  

The central bank stopped short of banning or explicitly curbing Bitcoin transactions.  However according to media reports, Indian officials raided the offices of buysellbitco.in and rbitco.in which were trading in Bitcoins for the last three months or so. The Bitcoin market in India is very small and unlike the recent move in China, the recent moves in India have had little or no impact on the larger Bitcoin market.

India might be important for Bitcoin in a few years, it has almost no impact in 2014. The statements from the Indian central bank sound like what everyone says about Bitcoin the first week they learn about it. “used for crime, no intrinsic value, no transparency” give them a few months to figure it out.

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