Outcomes a sigh of relief for Indian cryptocurrency stakeholders as Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, clarifies that India will keep options open for experimentation with cryptocurrency and that the center’s standing is nowhere close to the Blanket Ban as anticipated by many.

The Timeline

In 2018, the RBI came up imposing a ban on all cryptocurrency trading. This resulted in the closure of many young start-ups and severe losses to others. The crypto community, however, fought a legal battle and in 2020, the Supreme Court passed the verdict in their favor. The ban was lifted and several start-up companies flourished. However, there were still clouds looming: the budget of 2021. There were possibilities on both sides. The budget reading, however, began and ended with absolutely no mention of the cryptocurrency. This heightened tensions. Some were hopeful that the government would impose restrictive measures on the functioning. Others feared a blanket ban. Until now a section of the crypto ventures speculated that the government would come up with concrete walling by means of passing a bill as soon as the assembly resumed. 

Heads of some of the leading crypto agencies even united to form an association to hold a dialogue with the government in hopes of averting a total ban. 

Also Read: India’s Crypto Investors Weigh Options Ahead Of Impending Ban

News Now

As per the finance minister, the final call on cryptocurrencies will be taken post deliberations with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and cabinet members. In her words, “A lot of negotiations and discussions are happening around the cryptocurrency with the Reserve Bank of India. RBI will be taking a call on what kind of unofficial cryptocurrency will have to be planned and how it has to be regulated. However we want to make sure that there is a window available for all kinds of experiments that will have to take place in the crypto world”

She went on to say that the center’s stand on cryptocurrency will be a ‘calibrated’ one. This implies that the government is willing to allow crypto trading in a carefully monitored and adjusted way. 

This comes in sharp contrast with a recent statement of Shaktikanta Das, the Governor of RBI, that highlighted the government’s skeptical mindset against the rampant trade of digital currency in India. He, however, did express that the apex bank would not like to be bereft of the benefits of technological advancements and the utilities of blockchain technology. Despite having reservations on the trade of private digital currencies, RBI, he said, is working towards digitization of their own currency. 

Also Read: Why Should the US Government Concentrate on Blockchain, Crypto and ‘Digital Dollar’?

Boils Down To

Even without slipping from their former stance of pulling a stop to the trade of all private digital currencies, the Center realises their need to keep up, at least on the technological front. Global banks, and established financial institutions, are now rushing to be a part of the novel technological revolution in which the roles of blockchain and digital currencies are instrumental. The theorized scenarios appear so powerful that many among the staunch-opposition have given in. 

Even amid the global enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies, the slightest nod of ‘not closing our minds’ from the Finance Minister of India fosters a ripple of positivity through a young community of traders.

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