RIYADH: Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency internationally, traded higher on Thursday, up 2.70 percent to $41,266 as of 09:00 a.m. Riyadh time.
Ether, the second most traded cryptocurrency, was priced at $3,107, up 1.48 percent, according to data from Coindesk.
Kotak pauses crypto trade
Meanwhile, Kotak Mahindra Bank, one of the few Indian financial institutions that warmly welcomed crypto initially has now temporarily discontinued handling payments for trades with CoinSwitch Kuber, a large crypto intermediary, according to a report published in Economic Times.
Even though the reason behind this move remains unknown, sources said Kotak has decided to pause till the dust settles on cryptos.
Indian investors shocked following transfer network block
Big Indian crypto exchanges CoinSwitch Kuber and WazirX have disabled rupee deposits for the purchase of cryptocurrency through a widely-used state-backed transfer network, spurring users to renew demands for regulatory clarity.
India has spent years working on a law to ban or regulate cryptocurrencies, with a ban backed by the central bank over risks to financial stability, though a recent decision to tax income from them suggests acceptance by authorities.
Wednesday’s moves follow a one-line statement last week by the National Payments Corporation of India, operator of the state-backed United Payments Interface (UPI), which eases bank transfers, that it was unaware of its use by any crypto exchange.
CoinSwitch was not allowing users to load deposits on its app, although they could still withdraw funds.
China warns of NFT-related financial risks
China warned on Wednesday of financial risks associated with non-fungible tokens, as three industry bodies jointly issued guidelines to prevent the digital asset market from overheating.
NFTs are ownership certificates of a unique digital item such as a video, recording, or cyber artwork. Such digital collectables are gaining traction in China and have been embraced by tech companies including Ant Group and Tencent Holdings.
“In recent years, China’s NFT market is getting increasingly hot,” China’s banking, securities and Internet finance associations said in a joint statement.
Although NFTs could contribute to China’s digital economy, they could also lead to speculative trading, money laundering, and illegal financing, said the trio, who also issued a joint ban on cryptocurrency trading last year.
NFTs must not be used in the issuance of financial assets such as securities, insurance, loans or precious metals, said the statement, published on the website of the China Banking Association.
(With inputs from Reuters)