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India to Ban Bitcoin

This as the cryptocurrency just broke $60,000.

The government of India does not like cryptocurrencies. It hates them so much that it now plans on new legislation to prohibit their use. So you may not be able to use Bitcoin in Bombay anymore.

A report in Reuters cited a senior Indian government official as saying that the new law would ban the use of cryptocurrencies and impose fines on anyone trading in in them in the country or even holding such digital assets.

This would constitute the most extreme such law in the world. As of now, governments are merely talking about regulating cryptos. They want the virtual currencies to be treated like any kind of security. The S.E.C. has begun to impose American regulations on traders. People are expected to pay capital gains taxes on any profits just as they would on the profits from the sale of stock.

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, however, told CNBC that the country is still weighing it options. “I can only give you this clue that we are not closing our minds, we are looking at ways in which experiments can happen in the digital world and cryptocurrency,” she said. “There will be a very calibrated position taken.”

One thing can be said of blockchain: it his highly volatile. Bitcoin has had some high highs, but it has also had a few major crashes. It now trades at around $60,000. But serious investors like Warren Buffet are still dismissive of cryptos. They see them as a fad and that people are only jumping on the bandwagon out of fear of losing out.

Others see a social danger caused by their anonymity. Many people can use Bitcoin and others for crime related activities. Since the coins cannot be traced people can use them without the government noticing. It lets people hide assets. Illegal items like drugs and weapons can be bought and sold over the internet using the virtual currencies with no need for holding funds in traceable bank accounts.

India is now considering establishing its own digital currency.

Reuters reports that in spite of the threat of a government ban in India crypto-currency has 8 million investors who collectively hold $1.4 billion in crypto-investments.

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