Crypto enthusiasts and traders in India have all week long been bracing themselves for a crypto ban by the Reserve Bank of India that prevents banks from providing financial services to cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. This means that any fiat deposits and withdrawals in exchanges will not be processed.
Zebpay, being one of the leading crypo-exchanges, has announced to its users, that it will align itself with the new directive and no longer support Rupee deposits and withdrawals. Zebpay announced this via twitter when it tweeted the following:
Today we are disabling the rupee deposit and withdrawal options on the Zebpay app. This is being done in light of the bank account closures as per the RBI guideline.
More details here: https://t.co/bptLZXFL7R pic.twitter.com/NEvVNHgJiP
— zebpay (@zebpay) July 4, 2018
Anyone who visits the exchange’s website, will notice a banner on the site announcing the following:
As per a recent RBI action, banks have been told to discontinue banking services to those dealing with virtual currencies. While our industry is challenging this legally, the outcome is beyond our control. Hence, if you are holding any rupees, or depositing any rupees in Zebpay, there could soon come a time when we may be not be able to honor withdrawal requests. Please continue only if you understand this risk.
The exchange is also quick to note that all crypto related activities on exchanges is 100% operational including the trading of the new TRX coins.
But please note:
(i) Coin / Token deposits and withdrawals are ON
(ii) crypto-rupee and crypto-crypto pair trading is ON
This means that the RBI did not ban crypto activities but only restricted banks from offering fiat services to the said exchanges.
There is hope for a reversal of the ban as there are several crypto industry stakeholders who have challenged the ban in court. The first was a hearing only yesterday, June 3rd, to postpone the ban. The High Court upheld RBIs decision but there are still more court cases challenging the decision as well as government officials expressing optimism that there will be some sort of regulation in the near future.
In a televised interview, the country’s secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, Subash Chandra Garg, stated that:
We are fairly close to developing a template [for crypto regulations] that we think is in the best interests of the country. We have prepared a draft which we intend to discuss with the committee members in the first week of July.
With Malta passing 3 bills just today, June 4th, it is only natural to be optimistic that India will join Malta as one of the first countries to become crypto friendly. The fact that the country had issued a paper money ban back in August 2017 to curb corruption, is an indicator that its government might welcome Distributed Ledger Technology as well as cryptocurrencies.