India’s Supreme Court has removed the ban on cryptocurrency trading that was imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
This resolution marked an end to the endless lobbying and court battles that spanned two years, where a host of digital stakeholders sought to see the reinstatement of crypto trading.
Crypto Investors in Turmoil
The 2018 ruling by the country’s top bank had prohibited India’s financial institutions from engaging cryptocurrency exchanges. This ruling was backed by the RBI’s concerns over market integrity and consumer protection, among other crime-related issues that have long been associated with the crypto industry.
The RBI ban was the product of critical investigations that were undertaken for several months to scrutinize the place of cryptocurrencies within the Indian economy. The government, and financial regulators, compared crypto to Ponzi schemes that were out to exploit the populace.
Consequently, a series of warnings and regulations were issued before the final decision was made – all Indian banks were instructed to distance themselves from all organizations and entities that dealt in crypto.
In addition, the central bank had strongly argued against Bitcoin and other forms of virtual monies – that they cannot be accorded the same treatment as conventional units of exchange due to their virtual existence. In its argument, the bank dismissed digital monies for their inability to receive physical verification from the government.
The 2018 notice by the RBI came at a time when the Indian crypto community had grown to an impressive five million users. The aftermath of the ban led to widespread turmoil across the board – with local crypto-savvy startup companies closing down on a large scale. By then, the selling volumes for Bitcoin had nearly-doubled with prices falling by 10 percent.
The withdrawal of institutional ability to use Indian banks for their transactions brought the country’s crypto exchanges to their knees. A great number of these crypto exchanges closed down, altering the economic dynamics of a nation that had grown to account for 3 percent of the global crypto market.
Following the crypto ban by the RBI, several cryptocurrency exchanges moved to court to challenge the decision. This endeavor, spearheaded by the Internet and Mobile Association of India, bore fruit when the apex court of the land gave in to their demands. The decision to lift the ban was made possible by an acknowledgement that the banks regulated by RBI had not sustained visible damage from crypto trading.
The Indian cryptocurrency community welcomes the verdict with open arms’ more so the crypto exchanges that had suffered greatly from the 2018 ban. Sathvik Vishwanath, a renowned Bitcoin and blockchain entrepreneur wrote a blog post in reflection of the “win to the entire crypto community in India.
Zebpay, another famous crypto exchange, reported that their servers were affected by a sudden an unprecedented surge in people logging on to their platform after the ban was lifted.
For now, the future appears bright for the Indian crypto community – time will tell.
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