Finance Ministry says Cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in India, what does it mean?

Finance Ministry says Cryptocurrencies  are not legal tender in India, what does it mean?
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New Delhi: In his recent budget, the finance minister had made it clear that cryptocurrencies will not be accepted as legal tender in India. This means that the cryptocurrencies cannot be used to buy goods and services, at least in India as of now.

But, after the value of bitcoin has surged suddenly in December 2017, the supporters of the cryptocurrencies are selling the idea that bitcoins are an asset just like gold or shares. The idea is to lure the investors to invest in cryptocurrencies.

According to the news reported in Business Standard, even though some companies like Dell, Expedia and Microsoft were taking bitcoins as payment, their usage has been relatively low. But, in India there are no retail outlets that sell bitcoins. If they are made legal in India, they have to be registered with SEBI and moreover, the derivatives on cryptocurrency can be allowed only after the SEBI gives permission. Currently, they are not regulated either by RBI or SEBI.

Also, recently some banks in India disallowed transfer of funds to trading account of cryptocurrency exchanges.
It is advised that until the RBI or SEBI comes out with some guidelines related to cryptocurrency, it is better to see it as a risky option for investing into it.