Despite its 1.3-billion-person population, its $80 billion remittance industry, and the fact that India has been identified as the land of opportunity for cryptocurrency and the global payments industry, the country has largely been a minor player on the cryptocurrency industry’s global stage.
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Indeed, while countries slightly further to the east and west have made themselves international hubs for the cryptocurrency industry, India has, arguably, been left behind — but that may soon change.
Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking institution, clarified to the country’s supreme court that although banks in the country are forbidden from having working relationships with cryptocurrency platforms, cryptocurrency itself is not, in fact, illegal or otherwise banned in India.
“Firstly, the RBI has not prohibited VCs (virtual currencies) in the country,” read part of a 30-page affidavit that the bank submitted to the court. Instead, “the RBI has directed the entities regulated by it to not provide services to those persons or entities dealing in or settling VCs.”
#Crypto v. #RBI update. Order passed by the Supreme Court today.#IndiaWantsCrypto pic.twitter.com/3MXE8ttcrT — Crypto Kanoon (@cryptokanoon) January 28, 2020
The affidavit was submitted as part of an ongoing court case between RBI and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), represented by Asim Sood, over the legality of the ban. The supreme court concluded its hearings on the case earlier this week, and has reserved its judgment for the time being; public comments are being accepted by the court until the 31st of January.
A precarious moment in India’s crypto history
While the case could potentially lift or otherwise alleviate the banking ban on crypto in the country, it’s also possibl...