Business

Erik Gibbs

Reserve Bank of India denies involvement in plan to ban crypto

For more than a year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has attempted to thwart the advance of cryptocurrencies. It has blocked banks from working with crypto entities, has lobbied against regulatory procedures and even banned them from joining a proposed regulatory sandbox. It’s extremely surprising, then, that India’s central bank would deny any involvement in trying to get digital currency banned on a national level.

A recent Right to Information (RTI) in India sought to find out who was behind any potential ban of crypto in the country. The RTI was filed on May 7 by a lawyer with Team Blockchain. The RBI subsequently penned a letter in response to the RTI, which was shared with Team Blockchain, who then read it in a video on its YouTube channel. According to the response by the RBI, the entity allegedly stated, “They (Reserve Bank of India) have not received any communication from any department nor have they given any communication to any government department pertaining to drafting of this bill.”

The good news is that RBI most likely won’t be able to get its way. As the CEO of the Zebpay exchange said in May, “…I have talked to all of the top stakeholders in the Ministry of Finance, the central bank, the securities regulator and despite them having a certain amount misgiving around crypto I have never heard them talk of banning it. It’s very interesting that the people who could ban it, have never said they will ban it.”

A more recent article asserts that India could be close to releasing regulations for the crypto industry. Most would say that it’s about time, given the extreme uncertainty surrounding how the country views digital assets. A complete crypto ban would be about as effective as a water pistol in a five-alarm fire, and the best course of action by any regulatory body at this point is to acknowledge and embrace the future, and allow it to mature within an established set of guidelines as has always been intended. Some countries have already come to this realization, but there are several, including the US and India, that are still dragging their feet.

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