Bitcoin and Ethereum rises as India mulls crypto ban

Major cryptocurrencies rose on Wednesday morning, even as India said it will introduce a new bill that would see it banning the majority of digital currencies.

Bitcoin (BTC-USD) was up almost 1% to trade at $56,790 (£44,729). Ethereum (ETH-USD), the world’s second biggest crypto according to market capitalisation, was up roughly 4% and was trading at $4,294.

India’s Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021 proposes the creation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India.

The central bank, which has voiced concerns about private crypto, is set to launch its CBDC by December.

The bill also “seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India. However, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses,” according to a bulletin on the Indian parliament’s website.

Earlier this month, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi said all democratic nations must work together to ensure cryptocurrency “does not end up in wrong hands, which can spoil our youth”. These were his first public comments on the subject.

The government has in the past considered criminalising the possession, issuance, mining, trading and transference of crypto assets. The new rules could also discourage the marketing and advertising of cryptocurrencies.

Meanwhile the price of bitcoin was up at the time of writing but had fallen to its lowest rates since mid October on Tuesday evening when its value fell to $55,460

This was also a 20% fall from its all-time high of nearly $69,000 that it reached earlier this month.