The billionaire investor known as India’s Warren Buffet, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, has voiced his support for India’s impending cryptocurrency ban, warning that the hangover from Bitcoin (BTC) mania will be worse than the party itself.
Jhunjhunwala, speaking on CNBC’s Street Signs Asia segment on Tuesday, said the Bitcoin party was one he’d rather not attend:
“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.”
The headache from that hangover was felt to some extent on Tuesday as almost $400 billion departed the global cryptocurrency market capitalization. Bitcoin lost close to 20% of its value in hours, while much of the altcoin market suffered losses in excess of 30%.
Whether that means the bullish Bitcoin party is over for now or investors will return for a hair of the dog that bit them remains to be seen.
Either way, Jhunjhunwala is eager to see Indian regulators rubber-stamp their ban on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and believes the nation should focus on building its own central bank digital currency — the digital rupee.
“I think regulators should step in and ban Bitcoin, and they should focus on the digital rupee,” said Jhunjhunwala.
In mid-February, news broke regarding the Indian government’s impending blanket ban on all cryptocurrencies, with holders expected to be given a three- to six-month grace period in which to cash out their crypto funds.
Not everyone is as eager as Jhunjhunwala to see cryptocurrency banned in India. Former chief technology officer of Coinbase Balaji Srinivasan voiced his own concerns about the ban, declaring that such a move would be akin to banning the internet.
Other nations have already moved to ban the spread of cryptocurrencies. The Nigerian central bank recently issued a directive to all commercial banks ordering them to cease doing business with cryptocurrency exchanges. That’s despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that Nigeria is one of the busiest centers on earth for Bitcoin use — so much so that Nigerian officials labeled it a threat to their own national currency.