Is Bitcoin Legal In India? Cryptocurrency Status in India ( Budget 2018 )

By | February 7, 2018

Many of use were waiting for Budget 2018 to get a clear answer of the much awaited questions like: is bitcoin legal in india 2018? Can I use Bitcoins in India? Is bitcoin mining legal in India? is bitcoin legal currency in India?

But whatever our Fm has conveyed in the Budget speech 2018 on the current status of Bitcoin or Cryptocurrency in India is very disheartened for many people. There is no doubt about the craze about Cryptocurrency investments around the world.

We have seen many people become millionaire or even billionaire trading in Cryptocurrency or bitcoins in early days. But due to popularity of blockchain technology, the investment in Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (btc), Ethereum (eth), ripple (xrp), Bitcoin cash (bcc), litecoin (ltc), neo (NEO) etc has seen a huge rise in recent time.

Current bitcoin legal status in India – After Budget 2018

Before proceeding further, let’s try to understand what our FM Arun Jaitley, in the Union Budget for 2018-19, said:

The Government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system. The Government will explore use of Blockchain technology proactively for ushering in digital economy.

So after reading this statement, do you think cryptocurrency has been banned in India? Or you are still confused and not getting a clear idea on government’s legal position on Cryptocurrency transactions?

According to Mr. Ajeet Khurana, the head of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Committee of India (BACC): the statement of FM need to understand properly as Govt has banned Cryptocurrency usage as payment method, but it’s not clear that Cryptocurrency exchanges are illegal. But one have to wait for further actions and clear picture on this topic in coming days.

YourStory: What should the end-investor in cryptocurrency take from this announcement?

Ajeet Khurana:  There has been no indication by the government that it is banning exchanges. Neither does it stop people from holding a cryptocurrency. It is just saying that the government doesn’t recognise cryptocurrency as money, which no country in the world does except Japan.

You can read the complete discussion on YourStory.

Updates on Bitcoin / Cryptocurrency in India – 2018

Let’s find out few of the key things Indian bitcoin investors or cryptocurrency investors have faced in recent times. There were couple of striking actions performed in last few months which you should know before thinking about investing in cryptocurrency in India.

I-T Dept issues notices to ‘few lakh’ Bitcoin investors as govt plans to ban cryptocurrencies

Recently Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) or Income tax department of India send notice to more than 6 lakh Bitcoin investors tax notice. This has created a huge buzz around the bitcoin investors in India.

But the fact is that, people who are making money through selling or trading in bitcoin, are liable to pay taxes as per the income tax rules in India. But the income tax status on Bitcoin earnings are not yet clear.

So many people have not paid any tax on income from bitcoin trading in India. This has lead to a huge defaulters of advance tax payment and that’s why they receive notices. Here is the link of the full story.

Some banks shut the accounts of bitcoin exchanges

Another news create huge tension among new bitcoin investors is that banks started closing or banning the accounts of bitcoin exchanges as bitcoin is not a legal tender in India. This is also not clear and mostly due to some huge cashflow through Cryptocurrencies from international transactions, doubting related to money laundering may lead to such actions. Read the complete story here.

JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America & Citi bar people from buying bitcoin with a credit card

“At this time, we are not processing cryptocurrency purchases using credit cards, due to the volatility and risk involved,” a J.P. Morgan Chase spokesperson said in a statement to CNBC. Read full story here.

What is the future of Cryptocurrency in India

Well, I am not an expert in Cryptocurrency trading or not yet even started investing in bitcoin. Very recently I have create zebpay wallet to start with my bitcoin journey. But I am still waiting to enter into the world of Cryptocurrency investment.

The obvious reason is to understand how the Bitcoin price in India reacts after Budget 2018, how far it may go down and what could be the best price to buy Bitcoin. Just 2 months back it has touched the limit of $20,000, which has come down to $5000 now.

I will be sharing more on Cryptocurrency investment in India, various other information about Bitcoins, bitcoin alternatives and how to articles from my experiences. Keep a track of my website, if you are also interested to taste Bitcoin.

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