NEW DELHI: Private sector IDFC First Bank Ltd is the latest lender to halt services to the cryptocurrency industry, which has been witnessing some normalcy in accessing banking services after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last month clarified that the 2018 circular directing lenders to stop dealing in virtual currencies was no longer valid.
According to industry sources, IDFC First Bank over the past week temporality stopped services, as it is doing enhanced due diligence regarding banking support to crypto exchanges.
Email sent to IDFC First Bank requesting comment remained unanswered till the time of publishing.
“IDFC Bank joins a few of the other nationalized banks that have taken the stance to not service cryptocurrency-based companies. While RBI has clarified its stance that the banks can provide services after their due diligence, it is abruptly insane for these banks to take their foot back. These kinds of reactions also alarm the investors of cryptocurrencies for the wrong reason,” said Sathvik Vishwanath, co-founder and chief executive officer, Unocoin.
As per industry estimates there are over 15 million crypto investors in India, holding ₹10,000 crore worth in digital assets.
Lenders including, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank and Paytm Payments Bank, have already severed ties with the crypto sector.
HDFC Bank and the State Bank of India had also cautioned their customers against