Exactly three months back the country’s crypto enthusiasts, businesses, and supporters were into a situation of chaos, confusion, and anger. RBI, the monetary regulator of the country said in its statement “In view of the associated risks, it has been decided that, with immediate effect, entities regulated by RBI shall not deal with or provide services to any individual or business entities dealing with or settling [virtual currencies]”. This statement that that has almost sounded the death knell on the future of cryptos in the country.
India doesn’t learn from the past
India has always had its own say when the time is ripe to accept a technology and needless to say, has repented later on. It closed down its economy, in name of protection, when the world was growing. Realised it in 1991 when it had already fallen behind in the race. This situation not only took away the chance but also caused a lot of brain drain as India lost some fabulous innovators. Then came the dotcom boom in early 2000. When the world was contemplating technological innovations, India was busy working with things such as 2G technology and dial-up internets.
It took a decade of wait for companies like Amazon and Netflix to make their way in. It’s not that India doesn’t have a competitive advantage, but it chose to be protective towards things that were pathbreaking without putting in much effort into understanding its advantages.
A learning from the world
The reason given for the ban is that Bitcoins work as a haven for hiding black money and for scrupulous activities such as terror funding. To quote a leading lawyer in this regards
“A ban is counter-productive, therefore, we have suggested that there should be appropriate regulations that can address the government or the central bank’s concerns,”
said Anirudh Rastogi, managing partner at legal firm TRA Law, which filed the supreme court petition for four exchanges and also helped them approach the RBI.
Some other suggestions that could have worked are to follow the strict know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) guidelines. There could also be an additional layer of security that can be added by adopting international best practices, including allowing financial products such as cryptocurrency insurance. All this can happen only if we come under a regulatory purview.
Well, the end looks eminent if this ban continues but there is still hope from the Apex court which will sound its final decision on July 20 and the crypto lovers in the country just hope it’s in their favor.
India has succumbed to “banning” and closing its doors to changes, that have been proved path-breaking in the past and continues to do it.
Will Indian Courts vouch in favor of cryptocurrencies? Do let us know your views on the same!
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Sunil is a serial entrepreneur and has been working in blockchain and cryptocurrency space for 2 years now. Previously he co-founded Govt. of India supported startup InThinks and is currently Chief Editor at Coingape and CEO at SquadX, a fintech startup. He has published more than 100 articles on cryptocurrency and blockchain and has assisted a number of ICO’s in their success. He has co-designed blockchain development industrial training and has hosted many interviews in past. Follow him on Twitter at @sharmasunil8114 and reach out to him at sunil (at) coingape.com