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HDFC bank blocks all its cards to buy or trade in cryptocurrencies

The move comes after multiple warnings by the RBI and the finance ministry on the non-fiat virtual currencies

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 


Following the regulatory discomfort on cryptocurrencies, second largest today blocked its cards from being used to purchase/trade in such instruments.

"We have decided to not permit use of credit, debit and prepaid cards towards purchase or trading of bitcoins, and virtual currencies, on merchants suspected to be dealing in crypto-currency or or both," the said.

In the communique to its customers, the bank said there are "increasing global apprehensions" regarding such instruments and the Reserve Bank has also cautioned regarding the potential economic, operational, legal and security related risks associated in dealing with such currencies.

The move comes after multiple warnings by the RBI and the ministry on the non-fiat virtual currencies.

Earlier this year, had reportedly stopped or delayed processing deposits and withdrawals in dedicated bitcoin exchanges.

Minister Arun Jaitely's had on February 1 made the government position very clear in the Budget speech, wherein he had said such instruments were illegal and promised action to eliminate their use.

"Government does not consider crypto-currencies legal tender or coins and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system," he had said.

However, the bitcoin exchanges had reacted to it saying it is "business as usual" even after the statement and said Jaitely's comments were being misinterpreted.

"There is no change in the government stance with respect to trading holders need not panic and the business is as usual," of had said.

Another player Belfrics Global's said government was taking time to understand the crypto world and the country' global share on market was steadily increasing.

It can be noted that there has been huge volatility in the price of the bitcoin over the past few months, which surged to a very high level before crashing down. The bitcoins are "mined" using complex algorithms.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 13 2018. 21:10 IST