The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed dealing in cryptocurrency lifting the earlier ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on trading in virtual currencies such as Bitcoin. The announcement came as a major relief for the sector, as the RBI ban restricted lenders from felicitating banking transactions for cryptocurrency exchanges and traders.
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) had filed a plea in the top court objecting to the ban of RBI following which the court ordered the lift in ban today. The industry body, whose members carried out cryptocurrency exchanges amongst each other, had claimed the move effectively banned legitimate business activity via virtual currencies.
The Central Bank had tightened rules to discourage the use of virtual currencies such as Bitcoins in April 2018, prohibiting banks and financial institutions from providing any related services.
Bitcoin – the largest and most popular cryptocurrency – has appreciated by almost half so far this year, to regain the $10,000 mark against the US dollar for the first time since October.
Other major cryptocurrencies which tend to move in correlation with Bitcoin have also gained this year; while Ethereum has more than doubled, Ripple’s XRP is up over 75 percent.