At a time when digital currency Bitcoin has been soaring to new heights, ace investor and billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala has called for a complete ban on cryptocurrencies in India. While bitcoin price has surged over 90 per cent in 2021 alone, the 60-year-old 'Warren Buffet' of India has said he "won't buy it for even $5". "I think it's speculation of the highest order. I don't want to join every party in town. I think the hangover is much worse," Jhujhunwala said during an interview on CNBC.
Jhunjhunwala said something that fluctuates 5-10 per cent in a day can't be considered a currency. "Only the sovereign has the right to create currency in the world. Tomorrow people will produce 5 lakh Bitcoins, which currency will go? Something which fluctuates 5-10% a day, can it be considered as currency," he asked.
He said the US dollar fluctuating 1-2 per cent makes big news but bitcoin fluctuates 5-10 per cent almost every other day. He said the regulators must intervene and ban cryptocurrencies in India. "I think regulators should step in and ban bitcoin and should focus on the digital rupee," said Jhunjhunwala.
Bitcoin has been the most volatile digital currency so far. After witnessing minor increases in early and mid-2020, the Bitcoin price took a sharp turn in December, jumping from $19,417.08 in December to $50,416.1 now. The market value of cryptocurrencies has also touched the $1-trillion mark on February 20. The unprecedented rally in bitcoin price has been fuelled by a series of investments by some of the world's biggest companies like Tesla, Mastercard and Bank of New York Mellon.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk's tweet early last week, defending Tesla's investment in the digital currency, also saw Bitcoin scaling a new high of $58,000. However, it was his tweet later in the weekend, expressing concerns over the meteoric rise of the cryptocurrency, that resulted in about 16 per cent fall of the cryptocurrency to around $50,000.
As per the latest data, bitcoin price has surged about 0.32 per cent to $50,411.05 today. Notably, Indian regulators are yet to decide on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies but there's widespread speculation that the government is planning to introduce its official digital currency, banning all private virtual currencies.