The Indian crypto community is finally taking a breather after years of uncertainty as the Indian Supreme Court has discarded the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) ban on cryptocurrency, which restricts regulated entities in the nation from interacting with anything crypto-related. The news has resulted in a wave of positivity sentiment within the country.
According to local media outlet The Economic Times, the Supreme Court on March 4th has “struck down” RBI’s ban on crypto trading in India. “SC rules curb on cryptocurrency trade illegal,” the report stated while adding that the order has lifted the ban on trading Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Benson Samuel, Director of Technology at Tokenyz Ventures, believes that India already had the foundation to support a cryptocurrency infrastructure in the nation. Furthermore, he thinks that the businesses that were forced to halt operations due to RBI’s circular would be back in business. He said:
“It’s a very positive sign that has come through, something that we have been waiting for and expecting for two years now. Most of the infrastructure and bits and pieces towards the cryptocurrency was already built out over the last few years, we should see a lot of them restarting and a lot more activity happening around this space.”
In early 2018, India’s central bank, the RBI announced that it had placed a ban on the sale or purchase of cryptocurrency for entities regulated by RBI terming cryptocurrency as non-sovereign. Later in July, the Indian cryptocurrency watch panel proposed fines and jail time for cryptocurrency use with up to ten years in prison for general crypto use in the country.
The victory of the Indian crypto community was the result of multiple petitions that were filed by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), a not-for-profit industry body that appeals to the government on behalf of internet industry consumers, shareholders and investors.
The IAMAI had argued that RBI’s decision to issue its controversial prohibition order was not justified. At that time, RBI’s legal counsel pointed out that it has the authority to operate the nation’s economy, and the ban was placed to ensure monetary stability and to avoid “reputational risks” for regulated entities that were involved.
Meanwhile, Crypto enthusiasts in India were left clueless about the state of their investments and were also under the constant fear of their assets becoming completely obsolete if the crypto ban bill came into effect.
This is good news for the global crypto market as Indian investors who were previously unable to access cryptocurrencies, or was on the fence about investing because of the legal uncertainty, would undoubtedly be flocking in. India is the second most populated nation in the world, and houses a vast economy; undoubtedly, there will be an enormous influx of investment coming from potential Indian investors.
Despite uncertainties about crypto assets, India has been pretty aggressive about the development of blockchain technology within the nation. Uttar Pradesh (UP), the most populated state of India, tested a blockchain-powered solar energy trading platform with tech assistance from Australian blockchain startup Power Ledger and India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF), a public-private partnership initiative of India’s Ministry of Power for accelerated development of smart grid technologies.
Furthermore, India’s Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora also discussed a new blockchain-based system that would now allow Indian citizens to cast their votes from outside their registered residences. Also, the Indian National Institute for Smart Government (NISG) recently published a draft “National Strategy on Blockchain,” which explains different use cases of blockchain in India along with some conclusions from on-going pilot projects.