Citi India has banned use of its debit and credit cards for purchase of bitcoin and other cryptocurrency following concerns expressed by the Reserve Bank over virtual currencies.
“...Citi India has decided to not permit usage of its credit and debit cards towards purchase or trading of such bitcoin, cryptocurrency and virtual currencies,” read a message to Citi India customers.
In his budget speech, finance minister Arun Jaitley had said the government does not consider cryptocurrency legal tender and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system.
The decision, the bank said, comes following concerns, both global and local, including from the RBI, cautioning the public regarding potential economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks associated in dealing with bitcoins, cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies.
Virtual currencies are stored in digital/electronic format, making them vulnerable to hacking, loss of password and malware attack which may also result in permanent loss of money.
The RBI has also clarified that it has not given any licence/authorisation to any entity or company to operate such schemes or deal with bitcoin or any virtual currency.