New Delhi: At a time when the trade value of a single Bitcoin has exceeded USD 50,000, Indian billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala told CNBC on Tuesday that India should ban cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as soon as possible. Notably, Jhunjhunwala, who has been many times referred to as India’s Warren Buffett, asserted that he will never buy bitcoin in life.Also Read - Global Crypto Market Loses $1 Trillion As Bitcoin Goes South
“I think it’s speculation of the highest order. I don’t want to join every party in town. I think the hangover is much worse,” Jhunjhunwala told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday. Also Read - First in India! Tamil Nadu Couple to Host Harry Potter-Themed Wedding Reception in Metaverse | Watch
The state from Jhunjhunwala comes at a time when data from Coin Metrics stated that Bitcoin has surged more than 90% so far this year. Interestingly, these strong gains have been attributed in part to increased adoption of bitcoin by major investors and companies, including Elon Musk’s Tesla and the Bank of New York Mellon. Also Read - 10 Travel Sites Where You Can Pay Using Cryptocurrencies
“I think regulators should step in and ban bitcoin,” Jhunjhunwala said, who is currently a partner at asset management firm Rare Enterprises.
However, India’s regulators have yet to make any announcement on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but there’s widespread speculation in the media that the Centre is planning to ban all private virtual currencies and launch its own official digital currency.
During the Parliament Session, Union Finance Minister Nirmala had told the Rajya Sabha that the government was mulling a law to ban all non-state cryptocurrencies.
“A high-level Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) was constituted under the Chairmanship of Secretary (Economic Affairs) to study the issues related to virtual currencies and propose specific actions to be taken in the matter recommended in its report that all private cryptocurrencies, except any virtual currencies issued by state, will be prohibited in India,” she had said.
On the other hand, Jhunjhunwala predicted that India will see strong growth in the next year as the country rebounds from the pandemic.
Last week, Bitcoin continued with the cost of a single unit of the digital currency rising above 50,000 for the first time. The same Bitcoin just one year ago would have cost you 10,000. The price is up almost 200% in the last three months alone.
Bitcoin is rallying as more companies signal the volatile digital currency could eventually gain widespread acceptance as a means of payment. The vast majority of those who have acquired Bitcoin have treated it as a commodity, like gold, with few places accepting it in exchange for goods or services.