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News  6, Jan 2014

Indian Bitcoin operators form Bitcoin Alliance of India post RBI advisory

The alliance aims at being the voice of Bitcoin in India post the RBI advisory highlighting the volatility and risks of virtual currencies

Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Bitcoin operators in India have come together to form a consortium — Bitcoin Alliance of India — after the the Indian government authorities conducted raids at various Bitcoin offices in India, on January 2.

The Indian government’s watchdog department,The Enforcement Directorate of India, charged Indian websites – Buysellbitco.in and RBItco for violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). Besides, the monetary regulator of India, Reserve Bank of India, too issued an advisory, terming Bitcoin trading as “risky” and warned people dealing with the currency in the country that they were exposing themselves to financial, legal, operational and security related risks.

The alliance, reportedly, has been formed by 10 Bitcoin operators — who control 80 per cent of Bitcoin transactions — in India, to be the voice of the virtual currency in the country. The association is taking the help of Nishith Desai Associates, an Indian law firm, to get legal advice on the situation. The body has been formed on the lines of Bitcoin Alliance of Canada, which was formed in December, last year.

Read also: Challenges and opportunities for Bitcoin startups

As neither the Indian government, nor the monetary regulator has termed Bitcoin as illegal, the alliance is looking at gaining further clarity both on the situation and the currency per se. Till then, the newly formed body has advised people to keep away from the currency, especially if they were into “serious business”. The advisory was issued through the consortium’s newly hired legal agency.

Saloni Surti

Saloni Surti

A writer by heart, Saloni loves pouring words about anything and everything under this sky. Short stories and philosophy writing come to her naturally.

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