Cryptocurrency trading in India is undergoing a whirlwind of change in the past few months and it is safe to say, the community’s attention is focused on two major dates: July 5 and July 20.
The central bank, Reserve Bank of India, had given a deadline of three months beginning from April 5 to banks to start winding up their businesses with cryptocurrency exchanges in India. Countering the circular, the exchanges filed a petition in the Supreme Court, terming it ‘unconstitutional.’ The Supreme Court has announced that it will pass a judgement on July 20 in this regard.
However, some banks have moved past the generic warning to all their account holders and have gone full offensive, singling out, cryptocurrency traders in their bank.
One such bank is Kotak Mahindra. A recent circular that a customer received shows that the bank printed out a list of their recent transactions to cryptocurrency exchange Coinsecure.
In an ominous sounding circular, the bank referred to the RBI’s circular dated December 24, 2013 where it warned people against cryptocurrencies.
In a separate note, the statement reads, “In this regard, the bank does not encourage its customers using their accounts maintained with us for carrying out transactions involving any kind of crypto/virtual currencies and hence we request you to immediately stop transactions involving dealings in Bitcoin or any kind of crypto/virtual currency from your above mentioned account.
In this case, it is observed that you have undertaken such transaction post receipt of this letter, you may treat this letter as an advance caution letter and bank will be constrained to close your account without giving any further intimation to you.”
It also warns that the bank will not be responsible and liable for declining any transactions/return of cheques/losses arising/any consequences or inconvenience caused to you on account of closure of your account.
Although this is a sobering reality of what could await us post July 5, threatening to terminate bank accounts way before any decision has been passed, comes across as jumping the gun.
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