Bitcoin Illegal in India?

In the past week, many newspapers and TV channels carried out a story that Bitcoin has been declared illegal in India.

They declared this based on the statement by Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal that use of the digital currency was “illegal” and exposed users to potential violations of anti-money laundering rules.

Similar uproar was made when another Member of Parliament Kirit Somaiya called Bitcoin as tool for MLM and Ponzi schemes.

The statements by two different politicians were seen as shift in policy towards Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies by RBI and Government of India. The statement was almost equal to one issued by the Reserve Bank of India in past in 2013, which issued warning about high volatility and theft risks with Bitcoins.

Currently the Bitcoin is neither illegal/legal in India. Government and Centre Bank has issued warning against the use of Bitcoin at the users own risks as the currency is not yet regulated.

It is important to note that even though there seems to be a harsh stance against the Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies, RBI is actively studying the Blockchain and Bitcoin. They have even published white paper highlighting the working of Blockchain.

Similarly a conference was held in the month of March by ASSOCHAM about “Global Summit
Bitcoin & Blockchain: The State of Cryptocurrency- Opportunities and Challenges for Indian Economy”  to discuss the further use of Bitcoin in the Banking and finance industry


A petition created on Change.org has attracted just over 7,600 signatures. A second one, similar in scope, has drawn more than 1,110 supporters.