HDFC Bank bans trade in cryptocurrencies

HDFC Bank’s credit, debit, and prepaid cards would not be permitted to buy cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies on merchants suspected to be dealing in cryptocurrency or online foreign exchange trading or both, a circular issued by the bank to its customers said.

image of bitcoins
A month after Citi Bank banned the trade of cryptocurrencies, HDFC Bank has now disallowed its customers to do the same. HDFC Bank’s credit, debit, and prepaid cards would not be permitted to buy cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies on merchants suspected to be dealing in crypto-currency or online foreign exchange trading or both, a circular issued by the bank to its customers said. 
 
Worldwide, cryptocurrencies are under intense scrutiny. The RBI has issued repeated cautionary notices to the public making them aware about the potential economic, operational, legal and security-related risks associated with digital currencies. In January this year, SBI, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Yes Bank had suspended bank accounts of Bitcoin exchanges running in the country.
 
In his 2018 budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender. He also said that those dealing in such currencies are operating at their own risk. India is home to over 11 percent of cryptocurrency trade held all across the world.
 
Bitcoin price has seen substantial erosion in this year so far due to news about an imminent crackdown in different parts of the world. From the high of nearly $20,000 in the latter part of last year, Bitcoin price has reached around $9,000 this year till date. There is a long way to go for it to regain the highs of the last year.
 
Over 500 startups related with digital technology have raised capital by making sale of their cryptocurrencies all across the world, Reuters reported. It is a latest trend for startups to raise funds by selling cryptocurrencies or token which help them in sidestepping lending institutions or venture capital firms as intermediaries.
 
Source: Financial Express
 

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