Libra coin by Facebook is becoming a major concern in a few countries where regulations around crypto are still uncertain. One such country is India where the regulators are considering cryptocurrency as Ponzi scheme and eventually deciding to impose a complete ban.
Facebook’s Crypto May Not be Available in India
However, the announcement of Libra coin by Facebook is obviously one of the big steps – but it somewhere bothers Indian regulators. The latest report by EconomicTimes states that Facebook’s Libra may not be available in India.
The report cites a unanimous person who is closely related to the current regulatory scenarios around crypto in India and states that the Facebook’s Calibra wallet will not be available in currencies where cryptocurrencies are banned or Facebook is restricted from operating in. Another person with knowledge also states that ‘
“Facebook has not filed any application with RBI (Reserve Bank of India) for its cryptocurrency in India,”
Moreover, RBI on this matter is still quiet and didn’t respond to anything openly. On the other side, Facebook’s representative told reporters of ET,
“We expect Calibra to work on WhatsApp and be available globally”,
Expert’s View On Libra’s Entry in India
The buzz and hypes are common and nothing can be certain until Govt officially release anything via its public domain. But its really worth to not that ahead of the scheduled date of July 23 by Supreme court regarding finalization of crypto aspects within the country, reports like these will often create FUD among Indians and the crypto focused community within the nation. Moreover, talking about whether or not Facebook’s Libra will be available in India, Mr. Anirudh Rastogi, founder of Ikigai Law which is a technology-focused law firm states that;
If Facebook were to design the Libra to be a closed system, only to be transacted on its network and not beyond, RBI should ideally be less concerned, since the coin doesn’t engage with the external economy. If it is not meant to operate in a closed system, then it is exactly the kind of digital asset that concerns RBI. Regulations as currently drafted seem to indiscriminately apply to both the above examples.
As far as Facebook’s own Libra is concerned, it is a Stablecoin as stated on its whitepaper. In fact, the value of Libra will be backed by fiat currency of the nation – for instances, Indian Rupees (INR)/ US Dollar (USD). While raising the question on similar regard, Nischal Shetty, CEO of WazirX took to Twitter and adds that;
As for now crypto trading in India is still accessible via P2P mode and the citizens are still allowed to hold, trade and invest in crypto assets. In fact, there are many firms indulging in crypto business from India by having their registered office outside of the country – one similar example could be Matic Network.
In addition, another expert Salman Waris, managing partner at TechLegis Advocates & Solicitors law firm adds his note on Libra’s accessibility in India;
“Under Section 79 of the Indian IT Act, Facebook is obligated to take ‘all due care’ to ensure its network or platform is not used for illegal activities like dealing in cryptocurrencies in India. Section 79 would apply to Facebook even though it is based out of India. Section 75 of the IT Act also gives extraterritorial jurisdiction to the law.”.
So readers, what’s your viewpoint on Libra’s availability in India.? Do you think Indian Govt will bring positive ecosystem for crypto assets in the country and will eventually add positive remarks on Libra within the countr.? Let us know in the comment below
Tabassum is a full-time content writer at Coingape. Her passion lies in writing and delivering apt information to users. Currently, she does not hold any form of cryptocurrencies. Follow her on Twitter at @Tabassumnaiz and reach out to her at Tabassum[at]coingape.com