Things To Know About Bitcoin Regulations in India

Tax saving mutual funds in India - benefits
Tax saving mutual funds offer significant benefits for investors.

The rise of digital currencies like Bitcoin has disrupted the traditional financial landscape, offering users a decentralized and secure way to transact online. However, the legality and regulation of Bitcoin vary widely across different countries and jurisdictions, with some embracing it as a legitimate asset class and others taking a more cautious approach. In India, Bitcoin has faced significant regulatory challenges, with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) taking a strict stance on cryptocurrencies and prohibiting banks from providing services to individuals or businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies. Even after the regulations, Bitcoin is here to stay for long and it’s never too late to start. Try and get started with the best online trading platform!

Bitcoin Regulations in India

Bitcoin has been a topic of debate in India since its emergence as a digital currency. The Indian government has been cautious about adopting cryptocurrencies due to concerns over money laundering, tax evasion, and other illicit activities. As of now, Bitcoin is not recognized as legal tender in India, and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued guidelines that prohibit banks and other financial institutions from dealing with cryptocurrencies. However, the legality of Bitcoin in India remains a grey area, as there are no specific laws that address the use of cryptocurrencies. While some Indian courts have ruled in favor of cryptocurrencies, others have taken a strict stance against them. This has created a lot of uncertainty for Bitcoin users and businesses in India. In addition to the RBI guidelines, the Indian Income Tax Department has also issued a notice requiring taxpayers to report their cryptocurrency transactions and pay taxes accordingly. The lack of clarity and consistency in Bitcoin regulations has made it challenging for businesses to operate and for individuals to use Bitcoin for everyday transactions in India.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Guidelines

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been closely monitoring the use of cryptocurrencies in India and has issued several guidelines and warnings to banks and other financial institutions. In April 2018, the RBI issued a circular that prohibited banks from providing services to any individual or business dealing with cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. The circular stated that the RBI does not consider cryptocurrencies as legal tender and that any entity dealing with cryptocurrencies will be doing so at their own risk. The circular also instructed banks to exit any existing relationships with cryptocurrency exchanges within a specified time frame. This move by the RBI had a significant impact on the Indian cryptocurrency market, causing several exchanges to shut down or move their operations outside of India. The RBI guidelines on cryptocurrencies have faced criticism from some industry experts who argue that they are too strict and have hindered the growth of the cryptocurrency market in India. However, the RBI has maintained its stance on cryptocurrencies and continues to monitor the situation closely.

Indian Income Tax Laws on Bitcoin

In addition to the RBI guidelines, the Indian Income Tax Department has also issued notices and guidelines on the taxation of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. In 2018, the department sent notices to thousands of Bitcoin traders and investors, asking them to disclose their cryptocurrency transactions and pay taxes accordingly. The notice stated that failure to comply with the tax laws could result in penalties and legal action. The department has also classified cryptocurrency gains as “income from other sources” and requires taxpayers to report them on their annual tax returns. The tax rate applicable to cryptocurrency gains depends on the individual’s tax bracket and the length of time the cryptocurrency was held. Short-term gains (less than 36 months) are taxed at the individual’s applicable income tax rate, while long-term gains (more than 36 months) are taxed at a lower rate of 20%. The Indian government has also proposed a Goods and Services Tax (GST) on cryptocurrency transactions, although it is yet to be implemented. The Indian Income Tax laws on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aim to bring transparency and accountability to the market while ensuring that individuals and businesses pay their fair share of taxes.


While the Indian Income Tax laws on Bitcoin aim to increase openness and accountability in the market, they have also come under fire from certain experts who contend that they are overly strict and have stifled the expansion of the cryptocurrency sector in India. Policymakers must strike a balance between innovation and regulation as the world becomes more digital, allowing innovative technologies like Bitcoin to flourish while safeguarding consumers and the integrity of the financial system.