Is Bitcoin Legal in India?

By June 10, 2020August 28th, 20203 Comments
bitcoin legal in India

Bitcoin has come a long way since its inception in 2009. A booming, multi-billion dollar mining industry now powers the cryptocurrency’s underlying blockchain network. Apart from this, billions of dollars worth of spot and futures trades have ballooned Bitcoin’s value over the years. It’s no longer a DIY project for hobbyists. 

Even with Bitcoin’s exponentially rising popularity, there is ambiguity about legality of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general.

What about India? Is Bitcoin legal here?

The short answer is: Yes, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are legal in India. You can buy, invest, trade without fear. 

But the journey to Bitcoin’s legality was long and pretty taxing. Let’s take a look at what it took to get here.  

Court battle

RBI released a circular on April 6, 2018, where banks were asked to sever business ties with crypto exchanges. This in turn unleashed a flood of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) across the crypto ecosystem in India. Rumor mongering and the spread of misinformation became rampant

#IndiaWantsCrypto 

WazirX founder Nischal Shetty took it upon himself to clear the air by launching the #IndiaWantsCrypto movement through his personal Twitter profile.

Within a couple of months, it garnered solid backing of the community and the entire crypto community in India joined in. At the time of writing this, the movement has completed 570 days and still is the most dominant force behind quelling unnecessary noise around a supposed ‘Bitcoin ban’. The campaign has now moved on to push for positive regulations.

On the other hand, the Indian Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Nishith Desai Associates fought the battle in courts.

The battle was won ultimately on March 4, 2020, when RBI’s ban was negated by the apex court. Lawyer Ashim Sood’s efforts in representing India’s Bitcoin case were commended by the crypto community.

India’s Positive Outlook 

Data sets like the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer could serve as a yardstick to gauge people’s outlook towards Bitcoin and crypto-assets.

73% (an increase of 16%) folks living in India have faith in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, whereas 60% say that the impact of crypto/blockchain will be positive. 

Majority of Indians Trust Blockchain, Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies
Majority of Indians Think Impact of Blockchain, Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies Will Be Positive

So, is Bitcoin legal in India? Yes! Very much.

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