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Bitcoin/USD: Indian bitcoin exchange to reboot tomorrow

on Jan 7, 2014
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
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**iNVEZZ.com, Tuesday 7 January:**

Indian bitcoin exchange Unocoin will restart operations tomorrow, after a series of recent regulatory events that led to the suspension of services by a number of exchanges across the country.
On 24 December, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) joined other central banks in issuing a warning that bitcoin exchanges operated without regulatory approval and cautioning users of the inherent risks of digital currencies. Three days later, Indian authorities raided the premises of the country’s largest exchange, Buysellbitco.in in Ahmedabad, albeit no charges have followed.

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One by one, Indian exchanges then voluntarily suspended their operations, including the newly-founded Unocoin which launched at the Global Bitcoin Conference in Bangalore on 15 December. Buysellbitco.in subsequently took down its shingle until it could “outline a clearer framework with which to work”, according to a statement on the its website, and “to protect the interest of our customers” The start-up bitcoin exchange added that the suspension was “in no way … a reflection of Bitcoin’s true potential or price”.

Last Saturday, the newly-minted Bitcoins Alliance India (BAI), a bitcoin advocacy group, held a press conference in which international tax and corporate lawyer Nishith Deasi publicly sought legal clarity for the crypto-currency’s future.
Said Deasi: “The Reserve Bank has already warned people and this is most welcome. But it is not saying whether bitcoins are legal or not; that is the clarity that these 30,000-odd bitcoin investors are looking for.”

The prominent Indian lawyer stressed that the RBI’s statement could not be construed as meaning that bitcoin was or should be illegal. He added though that the RBI’s warning helped raise awareness among investors that trading bitcoins is a risky business “and ordinary people should refrain from doing it”.


The BAI also called on the government to clarify its position on virtual currencies and underlined its commitment to “develop further standards of openness and transparency in collaboration with the regulators”. The start-up lobby group urged the authorities to recognize bitcoin’s benefits, such as a reduction in transaction costs and an enhancement of the growth, ease and security of e-commerce.
At the conclusion of the press conference, Unocoin announced that it would start trading bitcoins again tomorrow, 8 January.
Meanwhile in the People’s Republic of China, bitcoin exchange Gox BTC announced over the weekend that it will cease operations on 18 January on account of “increasing operational costs and legal uncertainty”. The exchange was launched in May 2013 but increasingly stringent domestic regulation has led to a plunge in trading volumes, according to a statement on its website.
The statement bemoaned: “We firmly believe that bitcoin is a revolution and have been dedicated to contribute to the cause, but the risks and difficulty have increased so much that the future is far from certain.”
Right now, the BTC/USD is trading at around $988.86 on the Japan-based Mt. Gox exchange, down 2.9 percent intraday. The price has been in retreat since reaching a 33-day high of $1,094 yesterday.

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