In a setback to cryptocurrency platforms and investors, the Supreme Court has declined to offer relief on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) circular, thus declaring it illegal.
Following the ruling, Bitcoin lost about Rs 10,000 from day’s high of Rs 4,58,105 to 4,47,998.
Earlier, the Apex Court had said that all cryptocurrency-related cases be clubbed together and fixed July 20, 2018, as the date for the hearing. But the case was brought forward for July 3 as an industry body said that the RBI ban is set to come into effect this week from July 6.
On April 6, the RBI through its circular titled ‘Prohibition on Dealing in Virtual Currencies’, asked banks, e-wallets, and payment gateway providers to withdraw support for cryptocurrency exchanges and other businesses dealing with VCs in India.
The announcement created panic in the Indian trading market. It also reportedly led to falling down in prices of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
Zebpay, one of the biggest digital crypto-exchanges in India, has already asked its clients to withdraw their funds before the deadline expires.
On its website, Zebpay asked its customers to withdraw their funds in case there is a disruption in banking services.
“Of course, since our bank accounts are functional at the time writing this announcement, you are welcome to place a withdrawal request for your rupee balance. If you do that, we will endeavour to return your rupee balance to your bank account as soon as possible, so long as our banks support such withdrawal”, said the company’s blog.
However, many cryptocurrency platforms approached the court. Besides, traders had also been running a campaign against the RBI to rethink its decision on virtual currency.
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), which represents internet firms also had filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against the RBI move.