Indian Government in Final Stages of Drafting Cryptocurrency Regulations

March 13, 2019

The drafting of a cryptocurrency regulatory framework is in the final stages of deliberations, the Government of India told a Supreme Court hearing earlier this month, as the court considers a petition made against the central bank’s crypto banking ban.

Attorney Jaideep Reddy of Nishith Desai Associates represented the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) at the Supreme Court and its petition against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). According to Reddy’s statements made to blockchain news outlet, the hearing “started with the counsel for the Union of India stating that its committee is in the final stages of deliberations and that the matter should be heard after that.”

According to the attorney for IAMAI, the Supreme Court told the government’s counsel that it had four weeks to finalize the statutory framework governing cryptocurrencies and that the deadline would be the counsel’s “last chance.”

The court’s post-hearing statements indicated that four weeks would be granted to the Union of India to complete what needed to be done, before the case is retabled by the judging panel.

Reddy argued that the validity of the RBI circular, which was issued in April 2018 to ban banks from offering cryptocurrency services to private organizations, is a separate issue and “should be heard and decided independently” by the court. The banking ban came into effect in July last year, forcing local crypto exchanges to cease allowing their customers to take out fiat currency from their bank accounts.

Supreme Court advocate Abraham C. Mathews recently remarked that there are limitations to the administration’s power to regulate cryptocurrency, citing the nature of cryptocurrencies as the main reason, while advising that it would be best for the court not to get involved. According to Mathews, the “alarming low probability” of the coins being retrieved and the perpetrators identified when a transaction is hacked makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to regulate the industry.


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