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The Blockchain Story

Crypto India vs Reserve Bank of India

  • By The Blockchain Story
  • Fri, 20 Jul 2018 00:00:00 AM
  • 0 comments
  • 2

The Supreme Court of India heard a bunch of Petitions against the crypto banking ban by Reserve Bank of India today – status quo maintained, the banking ban to continue for now, next hearing on September 11, 2018.

Today was another disappointment for eagerly waiting Crypto India as the Supreme Court of India did not grant any relief from the Banking ban. A three Judge bench comprising Hon’ble Mr. Justice Dipak Mishra, Chief Justice of India, Hon'ble Mr. Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Hon'ble Dr. Justice D.Y. Chandrachud has maintained the status quo and the Reserve Bank of India Circular dated April 06, 2018 bearing reference no. DBR.No.BP.BC.104/08.13.102/2017-18 continues to be in force.

Today five Petitions were listed for hearing, viz., Writ Petition (Civil) No. 1071/2017 Siddharth Dalmia and Anr. v. Union of India and Ors., Writ Petition (Civil) No. 1076/2017 Dwaipayan Bhowmick v. Union of India and Ors., Writ Petition (Civil) No. 373/2018 Rajdeep Singh and Ors. v. Reserve Bank of India and Anr., Writ Petition (Civil) No. 528/2018 Internet and Mobile Association of India v. Reserve Bank of India and Transfer Petition No. 961-963/2018 Reserve Bank of India v. Kali Digital Ecosystems Pvt. Ltd. and Ors.

Another Writ Petition (Diary No.) 18846/2018 titled Satyam Tiwari v. Reserve Bank of India and Anr. is also pending at the Supreme Court and is likely to be listed along with the above mentioned Petitions on the next date of hearing.

The Supreme Court of India on July 3, in the petition by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), an industry association whose members include major crypto exchanges in the country such as Unocoin, Zebpay, and Wazirx, denied granting stay against the Reserve Bank of India Circular, thus validating a circuitous but effective ban on crypto market in India.

All is not lost for Crypto India

But all hope is not lost for Crypto India as an official with the knowledge of Panel Discussions of the Committee set up to regulate cryptocurrency in India, has revealed that the Committee is not considering a blanket crypto ban on cryptocurrency, instead it is concerned with keeping track of investors and funds to curb money laundering and illegitimate financing, as reported by Quartz.

“I don’t think anyone is really thinking of banning it (cryptocurrencies) altogether. The issue here is about regulating the trade and we need to know where the money is coming from. Allowing it as (a) commodity may let us better regulate trade and so that is being looked at,” a senior government official privy to the panel’s discussions told Quartz.

“Trade is not a criminal offence. Most of us trade in various asset classes in the stock market. So how is this (cryptocurrency trading) any different? What has to be in place is a mechanism to be sure that the money used is not illegal money, and to track its source is the most important thing,” the official further added.

Shri Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary Department of Economic Affairs who is also heading the cryptocurrency panel, in an interview last month with television news channel ET Now disclosed that the Panel has completed the draft of regulations and discussions will be held to give final shape to it and endeavour would be made to finish discussions by mid-July.

This is the second panel set up by the Narendra Modi led government to regulate cryptocurrencies in India. The current Panel was set up in December 2017 which includes Shri B.P. Kanungo, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Shri Ajay Tyagi, Chairman of Capital Market Regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

The first Panel was constituted by the government in April 2017 comprising nine members including representatives of RBI, SBI, NITI Aayog and Department of Financial Services to examine and recommend measures for dealing with virtual currencies. The said Committee recommended gradual choking of trading activities of bitcoin and other virtual currencies and finally declaring them illegal.

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