Cryptocurrency has been under fire by the governments of both India and Pakistan over the past few days where the digital currency has come under renewed pressure by recent official action there.

Tech investor Tim Draper, who returned to the Indian market early in 2017, is concerned by the Indian government’s enforcement of a crypto prohibition against Indian banks and financial institutions. Draper, who was wooed back into the Indian market last year by promises of a crackdown on corruption by India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, regards the moves as a “huge mistake”.

In an interview with The Economic Times published yesterday, he noted that both blockchain and Bitcoin were “the best things to have happened for business”. He insisted that “countries such as India, where billions of rupees are wasted on inefficiencies and paperwork, will benefit from the ease and security of blockchain”. Draper suggested in the interview that a tech drain could easily follow any total ban of cryptocurrency in India due to other emerging players around the world needing the technological expertise to develop their own industry portfolios.

The Indian government had indicated early in 2018 that cryptocurrency might become a target for regulation. There were suggestions that a total ban might be imminent rather than the restrictions announced two days ago, prompted by comments earlier this year by India’s ministry of finance when cryptocurrency was described as a “ponzi scheme” with no intrinsic value.

Draper, a Bitcoin enthusiast, suggested that an Indian government ban would be “stifling innovation” and that companies should relocate. He claimed that “they (government) should be creating an environment where these ideas can be tested and promoted”. He also suggested that Bitcoin should become India’s national currency as the digital currency’s global nature would make it “acceptable everywhere” in the future.

 

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