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Bitcoin Edges Up; Officials Say India is Unlikely to Ban Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin edged up on Thursday

Investing.com – Bitcoin edged up on Thursday and other major cryptocurrencies also rose. Reports that government officials said India is unlikely to ban cryptocurrency were cited as supportive.

Bitcoin was trading at $6,353.6 by 12:45AM ET (04:45 GMT) on the Bitfinex exchange, up 0.04% over the previous 24 hours.

Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, gained 2.0% to $441.6 on the Bitfinex exchange.

Ripple’s XRP token rose 0.1% to $0.44677 on the Poloniex exchange.

Meanwhile, Litecoin traded 1.2% higher to $77.610.

A senior government official said in an interview that a cryptocurrency panel set up by India’s finance ministry has concluded that virtual currencies should be regulated as commodities and are unlikely to face a ban.

“I don’t think anyone is really thinking of banning it [cryptocurrencies] altogether. The issue here is about regulating the trade and we need to know where the money is coming from. Allowing it as a commodity may let us better regulate trade and so that is being considered,” the official said.

The official then said cryptocurrency trading itself is not a criminal offence, although authorities should make sure the money used is not illegal money.

“Trade is not a criminal offence. Most of us trade in various asset classes in the stock market. So how is this [cryptocurrency trading] any different?” the official added.

In other news, South Korean news outlet The Korea Times reported that the country’s lawmakers are set to submit new bills on cryptocurrency, ICO, and blockchain regulations later this month.

"It is unclear if any of the bills will become law during the session because opinions remain widely divided and more urgent political and economic issues are on the table. But at least their submissions will play a "catalyst" role in triggering,related debate within the Assembly," The Korea Times said.

"Rep. Song Hee-kyung of the LPK will host a policy debate on the security of domestic crypto exchanges on July 19. The Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA), which has been conducting a security inspection of crypto exchanges here since July 2, will co-host the debate," the article added.

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