Some of India’s largest banks, including State Bank of India, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Yes Bank, have reportedly suspended accounts of some of the country’s largest bitcoin exchanges, citing risks of dubious transactions.
According to The Economic Times, lenders have been closing or limiting activity on accounts associated with bitcoin trading.
Four people familiar with the matter told the ET that banks have started scrutinizing current accounts held by top Bitcoin exchanges including Unocoin, Zebpay, CoinSecure and BtcxIndia.
The news comes after Mumbai-based Koinex was forced to suspend business temporarily two weeks ago because of a problem between its payment service bank and their bank.
The exchange said in a blog post: “In the past few days, many of our users have faced difficulties with Indian Rupee (INR) withdrawals on Koinex.
“A tussle between our payment saervice partner and their bank has caused an indefinite delay in the settlement of a large portion of deposits to Koinex in the past two weeks.”
Bitcoin is not currently regulated in India.
India’s Ministry of Finance issued a warning note in December trying to thwart potential bitcoin investors from buying into what the note essentially called a Ponzi scheme.
“Recommendations are being worked at. The government’s position is clear, we don’t recognise this as legal currency as of now,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in November when asked whether the government has taken any decision on crypto currency.