Status of Blockchain Development and Cryptocurrency in India

Asia Blockchain Review
May 19, 2019

The Indian government’s track record of hostility towards cryptocurrencies has led developers and users to call on related authorities to regulate cryptocurrencies, instead of outright banning the technology.

BTCMANAGER reported that in 2017, cryptocurrency awareness was extremely low among Indians. Some of the first crypto exchanges in the country were LocalBitcoins, ZebPay, and UnoCoin, but it was the introduction of Koinex in August 2017 that attracted wider attention to crypto.

Then, in 2018, the Indian government started to ban cryptocurrencies, with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issuing a directive for all commercial and cooperative banks to put a stop to transactions of cryptocurrencies.

Fast forward to April 2019, Anurag Agarwal, Head of the Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPFA), denounced cryptos as Ponzi schemes.

“When it comes to investor protection, the IEPFA has to take a stand against certain things,“ Agarwal said. “Against Ponzi schemes, we are taking a stand. We believe cryptocurrency is a Ponzi scheme and it should be banned.”

India’s central bank and Ministry of Finance have yet to announce their stance on the matter.

Now, crypto exchanges such as Blockchained India and Koinex have been carrying out campaigns to call on authorities to regulate crypto, using the hashtag “#IndiaWantsCrypto”. Blockchained India has been organizing roadshows to raise awareness and has also submitted a report to the Securities and Exchange Board.

With more awareness for the technology as well as higher demand from developers, investors, ordinary citizens, and exchanges, it is up to the Indian government to decide the next step in dealing with the rise of cryptocurrencies.


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