Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices on the Indian Exchange WazirX have dropped after the announcement of a bill that will ban all private cryptocurrencies.
Regulatory discussions in India over a ban on cryptocurrencies caused panic in sales on the main cryptocurrency Exchange, WazirX, resulting in a massive price drop for major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Etherium.
Cryptocurrency prices in India fell shortly after parliament announced the introduction and list of 26 new bills in the winter session, which included the Cryptocurrency and Official Digital Currency Regulation, 2021. The bill seeks one legislative vote on the creation of an official digital document currency while imposing a ban on “all private cryptocurrencies” as of Monday.
A massive sell-off on WazirX this morning, November 24, has sunk the price of Bitcoin by nearly 4,600,000 Indian rupees ($61,820.73) to 3,917,659 rupees ($52,650.55), a drop of 14.8% in two hours. Likewise, other popular cryptos, including Etherium and Cardano, experienced double-digit price depreciation locally on the Exchange.
According to WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty highlighted that the Indian cryptocurrency market is generally traded at a premium compared to the global market:
This sales panic event caused the Indian market to correct and prices to reach the global level.
Shetty also pointed out the various use cases of cryptocurrencies as an asset or utility and cited former Indian finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg’s suggestion that “there should be a ban on the use of digital currency”, if there is.
Jay Hao, CEO of Exchange OKEx, highlighted the need for a differentiated approach to regulating digital assets in India:
India is home to the largest number of crypto owners in the world, and the responsibility rests with the government to protect the interests of a large number of cryptocurrency investors in the country.
Bitcoin Markets CEO Caroline Bowler said:
This ban will not work in the long run and would be a step backwards, the ban is not an option to protect investors’ interests
The thing about cryptocurrency is that while governments may try to ban it or try to contain it, the very decentralized nature of the technology somehow prohibits it.
As a final word of advice to Indian inventors, Shetty believes in the need to have faith in our legislators. “Let’s not panic,” he concluded.