Cryptocurrency enthusiasts in India, as well as businesses catering to the sector, are rejoicing. After spending two years fighting with the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and its ban on crypto trading, justice has been served. The country’s Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the ban that had been implemented by RBI was unlawful and ordered it to be immediately revoked.
It has been a long, contentious road to reach this point. The RBI first introduced the ban in July 2020, and, almost immediately, crypto-based companies took their fight to the Supreme Court. The high court didn’t show a lot of interest in wanting to get involved, repeatedly delaying – including earlier this year – the subject and avoiding making a decision.
However, due, in part, to persistence on the part of the crypto community, the three judges on the Supreme Court tasked with determining the fate of crypto in India have reached their verdict. Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, S Ravindra Bhat and V Ramasubramanian has determined the ban to be “disproportionate,” and has forced RBI to back down.
This decision is seen as a huge coup in the country, and RBI is going to have to swallow its pride and accept the future. As soon as the announcement was made yesterday, chatter on social media spiked on the decision, with several exchanges stepping in to voice their celebratory delight. ZebPay was one, and tweeted, “The verdict is out! Today the Supreme Court of India has removed the RBI ban on #crypto. We at ZebPay want to say a huge thank you to the SC for allowing millions of Indians to have access to crypto.”
Perhaps ZebPay expected the change to come. After having shut down operations a year earlier, the exchange announced last month that it was preparing to make a return to the Indian market, saying at the time, “A new leadership team, crypto-crypto trading, no-fee trading on select pairs, an upgraded focus on security and innovation, and a passive income and borrowing program on the horizon—we have a lot of new things to share with you in 2020.”
RBI has repeatedly asserted that it did not issue a ban on crypto. However, the fact that it prohibited banks from working with any entity in the space was, for all purposes, a ban, as it prevented these entities from seeking financial support of any kind. Several exchanges were forced to shut down after RBI implemented its ban-not ban, but almost all of them will most likely be ready to get back in, thanks to the efforts of the Supreme Court.
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