State Bank of India’s (SBI) Chairman, Rajnish Kumar, has reportedly favoured the regulation of cryptocurrency in the country—a long debated issue. This was during a recent interview to a newswire agency, while attending International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank meetings in Washington, D.C., along with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
He said, “The way the world is moving towards digitization, at some stage, a regulated cryptocurrency would be a better bet than an unregulated one. Because there’s a dark side of the internet also. There can be misuse of the digital currencies. That is why regulation is
This statement comes in the backdrop of a draft bill ‘Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019’, which was submitted to the Finance Ministry in February. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear writ petitions relating to this bill in January 2020 and is also addressing the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) banking restriction on the crypto industry.
At the Washington event, Sitharaman was asked about Facebook’s Libra crypto project. She referred to RBI governor, Shaktikanta Das’ inference to it and said that she got the sense that many countries were cautioning on rushing into this. “Some of them even suggested that they shouldn’t be using, all of us shouldn’t be using the name stable currency because that’s the expression they used. Many cautioned to the extent saying even the name should not be stable currency, it should relate to virtual currency or something of the kind,” she said, adding that nations would have to show extreme caution much before anything is said or moved on this subject.
Subhash Chandra, Former Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs Garg had previously said that the Indian government will not allow Libra in the country since it would be a private cryptocurrency.
Nonetheless, some global brands are eyeing the Indian market. UK-based online banking platform Cashaa announced that it will start enabling users to buy cryptocurrencies with Indian rupees from October 2019. It explained that while access to crypto in India through banking no longer exists, Cashaa will enable deposits and purchases of crypto in India for Indian residents, up to 1 crore INR per month. South Korea’s Bithumb Global exchange too claimed that it is opening trading for Indian customers despite a ban on Indian financial institutions providing services to cryptocurrency exchanges or crypto-related businesses.