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Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency Trading Gets Legal Status in India; SC Lifts Ban

In a huge relief for the Indian crypto community, the Supreme Court of India has finally lifted the ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of India on trading in cryptocurrency. The Apex Court has now permitted trading in cryptocurrency. Earlier, the RBI in 2018 had decided to tighten the rules that aimed to discourage the usage of virtual currencies such as Bitcoins.

With today’s decision of Apex Court, the sector has heaved a sigh of relief because, till now, the Central Bank’s rules regarding the cryptocurrency had restricted the lenders from enabling banking transactions for cryptocurrency exchanges and traders.

Earlier, a plea was filed by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IMAI) protesting the ban imposed by the RBI. The RBI’s move to ban cryptocurrency had led to the banning of legal business activity through virtual currencies.

The decision to lift the ban on cryptocurrency was taken by a three-judge bench, including Aniruddha Bose, Rohinton Nariman, and V Ramasubramanian. Meanwhile, a thorough judgment on the move by Apex Court is expected by the evening.

Meanwhile, the IMAI had contended that cryptocurrency should be considered as a commodity instead of a currency. IMAI had said that RBI lacked the powers to thrust such a ban when there is no such law regarding banning the cryptocurrency. 

Meanwhile, RBI, on its part, said that it has been alerting users since 2013 about cryptocurrencies and it treats crypto as a digital mode of payment that may put the payment system of the country in jeopardy. The RBI was of the opinion that this payment system should have been nipped in the bud.

Additionally, RBI also emphasized that it has the necessary powers to make decisions regarding the banning of cryptocurrencies.

RBI had earlier given entities three months’ tenure to break every banking relation with people or businesses dealing in cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin has emerged as the most famous and largest among cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin has already appreciated by nearly half till now in 2020. Last month in 2020, Bitcoin had touched the $10,000 mark against the USD for the first time since October 2019.