India's central bank forms crypto/blockchain research division

India’s central bank forms crypto, blockchain research division

India has already shown some support for crypto as a real payment option, so it only stands to reason that more activity would be seen in the country. While not wanting to make a huge deal out of it, India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has quietly been working behind the scenes on the possible expansion of the world’s future currency. It has created a division that is designed to research and regulate emerging technologies, including blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

According to an article in the Economic Times, the RBI’s new crypto division is already up and running after launching about a month ago. Apart from providing guidance, it might also be tasked with the responsibility of supervising disruptive technologies by the creation of draft rules and regulations in the future.

An unidentified source close to the project told the Economic Times, “As a regulator, the RBI also has to explore new emerging areas to check what can be adopted and what cannot. A central bank has to be on top to create regulations. This new unit is on an experimental basis and will evolve as time passes.”

The new operations come about fourth months after RBI ordered all financial institutions to stop doing business with any companies associated with cryptocurrencies. That had a major negative impact on a number of cryptocurrency exchanges in the country and led to a litigious battle between the exchanges and RBI. In July, India’s Supreme Court asserted that regulations are going to be necessary in order for the crypto space to flourish and the central bank is apparently listening.

RBI now feels that blockchain technology has improved substantially and could lead to the digitization of the Indian rupee. The idea was first proposed early last year, with plans to called it the Lakshmi coin after the Hindu goddess of wealth, but the volatility and regulatory uncertainty stalled any advancement until now.

The central bank is also said to be in the process of developing its own blockchain platform. That platform would support a variety of commercial banking applications after the RBI determined that the blockchain can be extremely beneficial to a number of activities in the banking and financial industries.

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