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India's Citi Bank Ban Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Purchase Via Cards

Finance Minutes 2018-02-13 12:51:18

Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin world is having a tough 2018 from regulatory as well as market movement perspective.  Every week we get to hear about new bans being imposed. This time Indian Banks led by Citi Bank have joined the league of UK and US banking groups for Discontinuation of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency purchase via credit & debit cards.

Citi Bank India Bans Cryptocurrency Purchase

This morning, Citi Bank India sent an information email to its credit and debit card holder about the discontinuation of credit & debit cards for purchase of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and others.

Below is an excerpt from the mailer:

We request to take note of the important information below.
Given concerns, both globally and locally including from the Reserve Bank of India, cautioning members of the public regarding the potential economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks associated in dealing with bitcoins, cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies, Citi India has decided to not permit usage of its credit and debit cards towards purchase or trading of such bitcoins, cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies.

Other Indian Banks to Ban Cryptocurrency Purchase?

Looking at the initiative taken by Citi Bank India and the other global banking groups such as Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA. The answer to this question looks quite affirmative. Standard Chartered, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank may welcome this step of peer banking company and follow the same path.

Impact on Indian Cryptocurrency Market

This will be a major setback for Indian cryptocurrency market especially after the bank account freeze of cryptocurrency exchanges that was imposed last month. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency prices may further slide down as India is becoming a major market with huge potential investor base and increasing interest towards cryptocurrency world.

Bitcoin prices are already struggling hard to recover the recent crash, currently BTC/USD rate is hovering around 8600 mark and this news may drag it down further and create panic among Indian investors. RBI, SEBI and Indian government are already in consultation to formulate a regulatory structure around cryptocurrency therefore the future is very uncertain atleast in India. Investors shall keep a close eye on all the happenings and trade safe.