India’s Central Bank Urged to Include Crypto in Regulatory Sandbox

Asia Blockchain Review
June 1, 2019

Tech industry majors and startups alike have pushed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to include cryptocurrency and crypto assets in its proposed regulatory sandbox framework for financial technology (fintech).

The Economic Times reported that on April 18th, the central bank released its “Draft Enabling Framework for Regulatory Sandbox,” which excluded cryptocurrency, initial coin offerings (ICOs), credit registry, and related sectors.

According to India’s IT industry association Nasscom, cryptocurrency is an important component of blockchain technology, but the draft framework appears to exclude smart contracts and blockchain applications from the sandbox.

The industry body pointed out that regulatory sandboxes provide a mechanism for learning more about the risks posed by innovative technologies and that sandboxes around the world, including the United Kingdom, allow for crypto-related activities.

Naveen Surya, chairman emeritus of Payments Council of India (PCI), indicated a desire for a more open structure to the RBI framework.

“The boundaries can’t be defined right away,” Surya said. “The discussion has been on how an open framework can be created instead of a subset of existing laws because then we wouldn’t be achieving the innovation objective. Ideally, they shouldn’t have such large exclusions.”

Incrypt Blockchain, meanwhile, has submitted a report on a blockchain-specific sandbox containing specifics on policies and procedures.

“Our research suggested that by restricting access to certain qualified digital asset startups, India could allow experimentation without worrying about any significant risks,” said Nitin Sharma, founder of Incrypt Blockchain.


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