India’s proposed Bitcoin ban triggers the genesis of an underground cryptocurrency market

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What India's proposed Bitcoin ban means for the future of independent digital assets
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A recent revelation from a senior Finance minister in India has sent investors in the country into panic mode. The minister who requested to remain anonymous confirmed that the country’s new law will include the banning of cryptocurrency usage of all kinds.

Transactions with international exchanges are also not spared. The news sent shock waves through the Indian crypto-community, but there is little time to panic as a three to six months grace period for assets liquidated is expected to follow suit.

Indians fight back on Twitter

Resident Indians have since taken to Twitter to spread awareness on the potential impact of the bill, which they clearly do not welcome. The hashtag “IndiaWantsCrypto” began trending as the Indian-cryptosphere took turns to reveal how cryptocurrencies have impacted their lives positively.

For developing countries like India, digital assets are more than just another fiat-alternative; they are the only sustainable pathway to financial freedom. As Nischal puts it “What we all are forgetting is that Millions of Indian youth are making a living through Crypto. Crypto is not just about investment but about livelihood too Positive regulation will help everyone in India to progress faster.” 

Investors are not backing down

Nischal Shetty, the founder of Indian-based crypto-exchange WazirX, whose platform is home to funds from investors who are largely in the market for the long term has revealed that investors are yet to show any signs of making an exit.

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In an interview granted to BloombergQuint, he said; “Our investors are in for the long haul and we have not seen any big increase in wallet withdrawals, save a case or two. In case the ban is imposed, it will only result in an underground cryptocurrency market forcing genuine investors to function in an unregulated environment. That would serve nobody’s purpose.”

The future remains blurry for Crypto-India

He also revealed via Twitter, the extent to which the ban will go in stifling innovation and financial benefits for both the lower and the upper class. His tweet reads; “If India bans crypto, it affects 2 sections of India differently -The Rich: CAN invest in Bitcoin outside India. Continue to benefit from Crypto innovation -The Common People: CANNOT invest in Bitcoin Loses on Crypto innovation while others progress #IndiaWantsCrypto.”

Some top players in the Indian crypto market have suggested that investors send their funds to friends and families outside the country, while others have suggested hardware wallets and online self-custody as better options for whale investors. Crucially, the rollout of the full details of the bill will determine whether the above alternatives can be employed, or whether investors will have no choice but to liquidate all funds and exit the market, as Vishal Gupta, the CEO of Bitcoin Alliance asserted.