Bitcoin trades at over 3% off in India

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are trading at a discount in India after the country’s government listed a cryptocurrency bill in parliament for discussion yesterday.

In writing, bitcoin at WazirX trades for about 40.90,000 Indian rupees (about $ 54,900) compared to $ 56,750 at Binance – a difference of over 3%, which is significant.

The discount was over 15% last night and earlier this morning on various Indian crypto exchanges, but it seems to be narrowing now.

Source: WazirX

Panic sales

Some users are panicking and selling their cryptocurrencies after Lok Sabha – the lower house of India’s bicameral parliament – published a bulletin listing the crypto account for discussion, Sharan Nair, Chief Business Officer at CoinSwitch Kuber told The Block.

The bill’s description in the bulletin says it “seeks to ban all private cryptocurrencies in India, but it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying cryptocurrency technology and its uses.”

The definition of private cryptocurrencies and the contents of the bill are not yet known.

There are some new ones reports that say Private cryptocurrencies are privacy coins such as monero, and not broader currencies such as bitcoin and ether. But an industry source told The Block that private cryptocurrencies are all cryptocurrencies not issued by governments, ie. all currencies except central bank digital currencies. This source said they have clarified it from government sources.

Earlier today, CNN-News18 reported, citing “sources in the security establishment”, that the government will not ban crypto after all.

“A regulatory mechanism will be in place so that crypto is not misused,” the sources told the publication. “The government is concerned about the underground transactions that are taking place against cryptocurrency – especially its role in ‘hawala’ and terrorist financing.”

“A strict mechanism will be in place so law enforcement agencies can track the origin of cryptocurrency used for illegal or anti-national work,” the sources added.

This is not the first time cryptocurrencies in India are being traded at a discount, CoinSwitch Cubers Nair said. Prices fell sharply in 2017 when the late Arun Jaitley, then India’s finance minister, said the government did not recognize bitcoin as a legal tender, Nair said.

© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is for information only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial or other advice.

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