India’s Apex Court Lifts RBI Ban on Crypto Trading
India’s Supreme Court passed a landmark verdict on Wednesday making cryptocurrency trading legal in the country. The two-year-old ban was imposed by the country’s central bank RBI, barring banks and financial institutions from facilitating any trade involving virtual currencies.
The ‘historic’ ruling, as it’s been called, was made by a bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat, V Ramasubramanian, and Rohinton Nariman.
Crypto Ban & Ruling:
In April 2018, the Reserve Bank of India imposed the crypto trading ban that came into effect around July of the same year.
As the reason behind such a ban, the RBI cited that, virtual currencies comprising both crypto assets and cryptocurrencies raises multiple concerns involving market integrity, money laundering, and user security. Hence the banks and financial institutions were asked to refrain from any kind of crypto-related business.
The ban was followed by several petitions opposing it by both individuals and industry players. Later on, a collective petition contesting the ban was filed by IAMAI (the Internet & Nobile Association of India) under the Supreme Court.
The hearings on the case went on for two weeks throughout January 2020, and the verdict was ruled on Wednesday.
It was reported that the Justices, ruled RBI’s ban as ‘disproportionate’. The prime argument involved the Central Bank’s disputation that crypto is a digital payment mode and that RBI could lawfully intervene in the matter.
The defense argued that
“RBI did not have the jurisdiction to ban financial firms from providing services to cryptocurrency-related businesses.”
Does the Verdict Secure India’s Crypto Future?
India’s crypto development future is still strewn with hurdles, one being the Bill that is to be passed by the government to ban crypto.
The Indian government has been planning to introduce the ‘Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currencies’ Bill, which was previously slated for the 2019 winter session but got delayed. The purpose of the bill is to completely ban the crypto ban in the country and to facilitate the launch of a state-backed Digital Rupee by RBI. It the bill gets passed then it can very well put the final in the coffin of India’s crypto future.