RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on Friday made it clear that the central bank's view on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin remains unchanged and it continues to have "major concerns" on the volatile instruments. "There is no change in RBI's position (on cryptocurrencies). Our circular clarifies the position very well," Das told reporters in the customary post-policy press conference, when asked if there has been a change in its view.
The RBI had first come out with a circular on the issue in 2018, cautioning people about investing in cryptocurrencies, which do not have any sovereign character. It had barred entities regulated by it from dealing in such instruments. However, the Supreme Court in early 2020 struck down the circular. Das said a revised notification to financial institutions on Monday was necessitated because some banks were still referring to the old circular set aside by the apex court and this was an attempt to set the record straight.
The RBI had on Monday asked banks, NBFCs and payment system providers not to refer to its earlier 2018 circular in their communications to customers. "With regard to RBI's position (on cryptocurrencies), I had said earlier, we have major concerns around cryptocurrency which we have conveyed to the government," Das said.
Following Monday's circular, some stakeholders in the cryptocurrencies trade had welcomed it more as a vindication. Some of the cryptocurrencies have seen massive dip in their per unit trading prices lately, leading to erosion of investor wealth. Some investors have been looking at cryptocurrencies as an attractive investment class. Das on Friday said the central bank is not into investment advice, but added that one should make his own appraisal and do his own due diligence before taking such a call.