The Reserve Bank of India isn’t giving up its fight against cryptocurrencies easily. The regulator now intends to appeal the decision of the Supreme Court which lifted a ban it had placed on crypto companies. The court sided with the crypto industry in a battle that has taken the better part of two years, but it may be too early to celebrate.
The RBI had issued a circular restricting all commercial banks under its purview from offering banking services to crypto companies. The decision greatly hurt the crypto industry, with many exchanges seeing their trading volume slashed greatly. The exchanges didn’t take this lying down and immediately went to court to challenge the decision. The Supreme Court lifted the ban which it described as unconstitutional and disproportionate.
Now, the RBI intends to file a petition challenging the ruling, Indian outlet Economic Times reports. Citing people with knowledge of the matter, the report claims that the watchdog believes the decision could spark widespread crypto use, consequently putting the entire banking system at risk.
And while it’s not possible to predict whose side the Supreme Court will take if the RBI files the petition, the crypto community should celebrate the current win and get to work. This is according to Abhishek A Rastogi, a partner at Khaitan & Co., one of the law firms that represented the crypto community in the case against the RBI.
He stated, “SC may look at the RBI’s review petition but as of now the cryptocurrency platforms can operate in India.” Further, he believes that the crypto exchanges can also get on the offensive and file lawsuits against the RBI for implementing policies that led to their bankruptcy.
The RBI circular hadn’t banned crypto trading in India. However, with the banks restricted from processing any transactions involving crypto, it was not possible for the traders to cash out in the Indian rupee. The situation was made worse by the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), which led many to believe that cryptos had been banned altogether.
The Supreme Court’s decision changed all this, Sidharth Sogani, the founder and CEO of blockchain research firm Crebaco Global told the outlet. He stated, “In a way, the verdict upholds the legality of cryptocurrencies and decriminalises the investors who have already invested in various crypto assets like bitcoin, ether, and various others Cryptocurrency exchanges in India can now legally operate for fiat-tocrypto trading pairs as well, in addition to crypto-to-crypto pairs. It remains to be seen how soon the banks will start supporting the exchanges.”
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