- Kotak Mahindra and Digibank have already followed the route
- HDFC Bank is the latest bank to force customer account closure
- The next hearing on the crypto case scheduled to take place on February 26, 2019
After recent reports of Indian banks like Kotak Mahindra and Digibank shuttering their customers’ bank account for dealing in crypto transactions emerged, the nation’s second-largest bank, HDFC Bank seems to have upped the ante as well.
A Tweet posted on January 21, 2019, by CryptoIndia YT posits that the bank has is asking their customers to visit the nearest branch and sign a consent form regarding trading with digital currencies.
HDFC Bank Follows Account Freeze Approach
Reports emerged in the last few weeks about how some of the leading banks in India, including Kotak Mahindra Bank and Digibank, freezed their customer’s bank accounts on the ground of them dealing with cryptocurrencies.
However, it’s worth noting that the RBI has never issued any directive to such action. The RBI has only prohibited banks from lending services to crypto exchanges, institutions or businesses. Peer to peer crypto trading is still completely legal in India.
Unfortunately enough, due to the in-limbo state of crypto in India, banks are trying to maintain as much distance from digital currencies as possible. The latest bank to join this list is India’s second largest bank HDFC Bank.
After Kotak and few other Indian Banks.
— CryptoIndia YT (@CryptooIndia) January 21, 2019
The bank is reportedly asking their customers to authorize the bank to “close the bank account without any further notice if it is observed in future that transactions have been carried out for Bitcoin/virtual currencies.”
Indian Crypto Ecosystem in Total Jitters
While governments the world over are steadily opening up to the idea of cryptocurrencies, the Indian crypto ecosystem (whatever exists of it) has been on a continual downward spiral since its inception.
After the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) diktat in April 2018 which prohibited all the commercial banks from dealing in any transactions related to cryptocurrencies, things have been tough for HODLers in India.
The continual adjournment of hearing on the matter by the country’s apex court hasn’t helped the cause either. The Supreme Court of India was initially slated to take the final call on the matter in September 2018. However, no decision has been taken on cryptocurrency’s legal status yet; which has further put the matter in the legal gray area.
According to the latest development, the Supreme Court will take a call on the matter on February 26, 2019.