Bitcoin hits 2-month low in India on Jaitley’s Budget comments


Bitcoin prices hit lowest level in two months in the country on Friday after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Budget announced that the government did not consider cryptocurrencies as legal tender or coins and would take all measures to eliminate the use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system.
Bitcoin was trading over 15 per cent down at Rs 5,44,735 in the afternoon trade at around 1.05 pm against its previous close of Rs 6,44,042.
However, FM further added that the government will explore use of blockchain technology proactively for ushering in digital economy.
Ashish Agarwal, Founder, Bitsachs said, "Jaitley's statement doesn't make bitcoin illegal in India. But it will create panic among investors and service providers most importantly banks. If banks stop support, exchanges will have to shut down services with fiat money."
View: FM needs to hear all sides before acting against cryptos
On the other hand, Rashmi Deshpande, Associate Partner, Khaitan & Co said, "The announcement on the cryptocurrency by the FM should not be misinterpreted to mean the cryptocurrency is going to be discouraged by the government. The intention is more likely to regulate the circulation to avoid its usage for illegal transactions. In addition, the government has recognized the viability of blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrency. Efforts should be made to bring in regulations at the earliest to achieve this aim."
In global market, bitcoin fell 9 per cent, leaving the best-known cryptocurrency down more than 30 per cent this week and headed for its worst weekly performance since April 2013.

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