NEW DELHI/MUMBAI (Reuters) – A month after India’s central bank barred regulated lenders from facilitating cryptocurrency transactions, trading volumes have surged dramatically alongside a sharp rally in prices.
Exchange operators, investors and analysts say people are rushing to take advantage of a three-month window the Reserve Bank of India has given banks to sever ties with cryptocurrency traders and exchanges.
Getting in now enables investors to convert rupees into cryptocurrencies, which they can later swap for other coins via private trading platforms even after the central bank’s rules take hold.
“There is a positive sentiment in the industry that the government will not ban trading in cryptocurrencies, and even if formal banking channels cannot be used, people can move to crypto-crypto trading platforms,” Shivam Thakral, chief executive of BuyUcoin, a cryptocurrency exchange.
“New investors are coming to our exchanges while existing ones are regaining interest after the drop because they’re getting good value and are making money as the prices of cryptocurrencies move higher,” he said.
Prices of the volatile bitcoin in India are back up to 618,000 rupees ($9,270), recovering from a low of 350,001 rupees after the central bank’s announcement in early April.
Average daily volumes have also seen a sharp recovery and were as high as $75 million, close to levels before the rule changes, according to Pune, India-based…