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Indian Bitcoin Trading Rallies 4 Times After Tesla's Endorsement, Exchanges Wary About Centre's New Bill

Representative image

Representative image

The government will soon bring a bill on crypto currencies as existing laws are inadequate to deal with issues concerning them, Minister of State For Finance Anurag Thakur told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Indian cryptocurrency exchange and trading platforms have seen a four-fold spike in the number of deposit requests. The rise came within 24 hours of Tesla’s announcement of buying Bitcoin worth $1.5 billion and that it may accept the cryptocurrency as a payment option.

Nischal Shetty, founder of Mumbai-based WazirX, a Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange and platform, tweeted, “We saw transactions go up 300% after Tesla’s announcement.”

“INR (rupee) deposit credit is delayed on WazirX. We’re getting a huge amount of deposit requests every minute. Please have patience, your deposit will be credited with some delays,” added Shetty in his tweet.

In conversation with Times of India, Sharan Nair, chief business officer at Bengaluru-based CoinSwitch Kuber, said transaction volumes had doubled after the Tesla announcement as compared to the daily average volume.

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Darshan Bathija, CEO of Vauld, also said the volume of transactions on its platform has doubled. “Compared to the day before, our trading volume doubled. We saw a 60% spike in new users, and 20% in returning users. We have seen a $10-million transaction volume in the last 24 hours, as compared to our daily average of $4-5 million. Rupee deposits have doubled from Rs 16 crore per day to Rs 30 crore today.”

Bathija said, “When large international markets come out with positive regulation on cryptocurrency and Bitcoin, India has taken the complete opposite stance. Their (rest of the world) interpretation of private virtual (crypto) currency is straightforward — not issued by any central bank.”

Lack of definite definition for private cryptocurrency in the recent bill has placed Indian traders and exchange platforms in a fix.

The government will soon bring a bill on crypto currencies as existing laws are inadequate to deal with issues concerning them, Minister of State For Finance Anurag Thakur told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Replying to a question in the Upper House, Thakur said regulatory bodies like RBI and Sebi do not have any legal framework to directly regulate crypto currencies as they are not currencies, assets, securities or commodities issued by identifiable users.

"The existing laws are inadequate to deal with the subject," he said. The government had formed an Inter-Ministerial Committee which has given its report on issues related to virtual currencies. There was also a meeting of the Empowered Technology Group. The Committee of Secretaries chaired by the Cabinet Secretary has also given its report.

first published:February 10, 2021, 11:59 IST
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