India’s anti-Bitcoin sentiments have caused a crypto-wide panic to spread around the world. The country’s finance minister Arun Jaitley announced during the budget speech today that cryptocurrency was not considered legal tender in India.
When the news broke, people immediately began blowing his words out of proportion. Jaitley stated that the Indian government “will take all measures to eliminate the use of these cryptoassets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payments system.”
This doesn’t mean the Indian government is planning to outright ban Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They will continue to caution against it and are planning to severely crack down on the illegal activities that result from crypto. But a full-scale ban? Not quite yet.
Many people appear to have interpreted it this way, however, and cryptos have taken a rough beating today as a result. Bitcoin is down nearly 10% in the last 24 hours, dropping below $10,000, and out of the top 100 cryptocurrencies, only two coins are actually up (DigixDAO and Aeternity) at the time of writing.
10% may not seem like a whole lot, but because Bitcoin holds such a large amount of the overall crypto market cap, the crypto market cap has plummetted as a result. In the course of 24 hours, the total crypto market cap has tanked by around $50 billion.
What we have witnessed today is a pretty good display of what would probably happen was India to actually ban crypto. India accounts for nearly 10% of all Bitcoin transactions (coincidence that that is also the percentage that Bitcoin fell today?). If crypto loses India, that could severely damage the market.
What is interesting is that India is against crypto, but not against blockchain. Jaitley also stated that “The Government will explore use of block chain technology proactively for ushering in digital economy.” So it’s not all doom and gloom. Blockchain will survive, even if crypto doesn’t.
What do you think? Will India change its mind and ban crypto altogether? Or is the panic all for nothing?
Featured image: hackernoon