India’s Reserve Bank Refutes Claims Its Involved In Draft Bill Aimed At Complete Ban on Crypto
India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has released an official statement denying any involvement in a purported draft bill seeking to ban cryptocurrencies in the country.
RBI’s document comes after pro-blockchain lawyer Varun Sethi sought clarification from the bank following media reports suggesting the government was eyeing a draft bill that would ban all crypto.
Sethi filed a Right to Information petition with the Reserve Bank after the Economic Times published a report in April alleging that multiple government departments were in favor of a complete crypto ban.
The article suggested that the government wanted to prohibit any “sale, purchase or issuance” of crypto assets.
The RBI reportedly failed to answer a number of key questions Sethi had put forth. However, it maintained that it has not received any communication regarding the draft law from India’s central government. The RBI also confirmed that it had not been issued with a copy of the proposed bill.
The central bank allegedly refused to acknowledge whether or not the authority to institute such a ban on crypto rested with it.
Notably, the RBI declined to answer Sethi’s question on whether there was a possibility that parliament could pass the said draft bill without the Reserve Bank’s consent.
However, its official stance was that it had not endorsed any such ban on cryptocurrencies to any of the various government departments. The banking regulator added that it has not been furnished with any written communication suggesting that a given department within the government had endorsed a crypto ban.
India’s top bank has over the years taken a central spot in the regulation of crypto and blockchain and has previously issued a lot of cautionary advice to investors and other users.
The bank’s decision banning financial institutions from engaging with crypto businesses resulted in several petitions being filed against it. And in one of its affidavits filed in the Indian Supreme Court, the RBI explained that bitcoin wasn’t money and could not be classified as such under the country’s extant laws.
Last April, the banking regulator announced a regulatory sandbox targeted at enabling the testing of blockchain products on a limited number of users. The unveiling, however, excluded cryptocurrencies, crypto exchanges, and ICOs.
That decision saw several lobby groups petition the RBI to reconsider the exclusion.
India is the second-most populous country in the world, but its stubbornly slow move to streamline its stance on crypto regulation has resulted in a lot of uncertainty. Already several crypto exchanges have either shut down or looked to change their business model.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.