Billionaire Jhunjhunwala Says India Should ‘Ban Bitcoin’


Indian billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala said that the country’s regulators should ban cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

The investor, sometimes known as Warren Buffett from India, said that he will “never buy bitcoins.”

“I think it’s speculation of the highest level. I don’t want to join all the parties in town. I think the hangover is much worse,” he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday.

Bitcoin has had a spectacular run in 2021 and has risen more than 90% so far this year, according to data from Coin Metrics.

Those strong gains have been attributed in part to increased bitcoin adoption by major investors and companies, including Elon Musk’s Tesla and the Bank of New York Mellon.

Indian regulators have yet to make a decision on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but there is widespread speculation that the government is planning to ban all private virtual currencies and launch its own official digital currency.

I think regulators should step in and ban bitcoin. And they should focus on the digital rupee.

Rakesh Jhunjhunwala

Partner, Rare Companies

Jhunjhunwala said that Indian regulators have a role to play in keeping Bitcoin out.

“I think regulators should step in and ban bitcoin,” said the investor who is currently a partner in asset management firm Rare Enterprises. “And they should focus on the digital rupee.”

Bullish in India

On the country’s prospects, he was optimistic and He said he believes India will make a strong recovery based on the reforms and policy initiatives taken by the government in the recent budget.

“I think we now have a resurgent India. The Indian budget conveyed that the government is going to do whatever it takes in terms of policies and reforms. All of these things are going to come together.”

During the recent budget release, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced plans to step up capital investment and implement financial sector reforms to support India’s ailing economy following the pandemic-induced slowdown.

He also said that India will need to borrow 800 billion rupees ($ 10.96 billion) in the next two months from the bond market.

The billionaire predicted that India will see strong growth next year as the country recovers from the pandemic.

“I think India is in the last phase of Covid-19,” he said, adding that the country is likely to grow 10-11% next year.

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