India sent tax notices to tens of thousands of people engaged in trading in crypto-currencies after a nationwide survey showed that over a 17-month period, transactions were made for more than $ 3.5 billion, reports Reuters.

Technically savvy young investors, real estate players and jewelers are among those who invested in bitcoin and other virtual currencies, officials of the Indian income tax department reported to Reuters after collecting data from nine stock exchanges in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Pune.

The government of India has repeatedly warned against investments in digital currencies. The authorities of the country compared them to the financial pyramids, but until now no restrictions in the industry have been introduced.

BR Balakrishnan, the head of the investigation department of the income tax department in the southern state of Karnataka, said that tax notifications were sent out after a study conducted to assess the penetration and patterns of trading in virtual currencies.

“We can not turn a blind eye to it, it would be a disaster to wait until a final decision on their legality is made,” he told Reuters.

The tax department asked people engaged in trading bitcoins and other virtual currencies, such as air and ripple, to pay income tax on capital. Officials also asked traders to provide detailed information about their combined investments and sources of funds.

Governments around the world are trying to figure out how to regulate trade in crypto-currencies. It is expected that politicians will discuss this issue at the G20 summit in Argentina in March.

Last year, the bitcoin took off by more than 1700%. Bitcoin reached a maximum of almost $ 20 thousand in December and crossed this threshold on some exchanges, but has since experienced several large sales. Investors fear that regulators may limit the currency.

Officials of South Korea are considering closing the crypto-exchange exchanges in the country.

Earlier there was information that China is tightening its control over the trade in crypto-currencies. A senior representative of the People’s Bank of China said that the authorities should prohibit centralized trading of virtual currencies, as well as impose restrictions on individuals and legal entities that provide related services.