India Contemplates Crypto Ban?


If cryptocurrency interest is growing in some parts of the world, it doesn’t seem to be on an upswing in India.

Reports today point to a press release earlier this week from the Information Bureau of India showing that a key agency has committed to working against the use of private cryptocurrencies within the country.

The October 30 release from IBI involves India’s Financial Stability and Development Council, revealing that the board “deliberated on the issues and challenges of cryptocurrency assets and was briefed about the deliberations in the high-level committee … to devise an appropriate legal framework to ban use of private cryptocurrencies in India.”

Targeted bans on crypto investing and trading aren’t unprecedented – for instance, in the United States, Americans are prohibited from investing in the Venezuelan national currency, the Petro.

However, analysts are thinking that India’s decision goes wider, and may really inhibit robust cryptocurrency action in that country – as one of the major emerging markets known as  BRIC – (Brazil, Russia, India and China), India’s reluctance could slow down some crypto stocks, especially in combination with China’s overall attitude on crypto, which seems to be lukewarm at best.

In this environment, some are asking whether India has left the door open to a national cryptocurrency that’s not private, but rather government-backed.

“The Indian cryptocurrency users are struggling to understand the government’s intentions,” writes Aditya Worah in a Cryptoground piece today on Indian sentiment. “The Reserve Bank of India had announced in April that no banking or payments institute in the country would engage with those people and businesses which are dealing in cryptocurrencies. A legal battle continues to be fought in the Supreme Court of India over the reversal of this order.”

Worah writes that cryptocurrencies have “been caught in a crossfire” in a conflict between India’s government and its central bank, and calls current moves “the final nail in the coffin” of cryptocurrency sectors within the country, at least on a private basis.

Few are talking about this move having a large impact on the international crypto market, but in a global interconnected economy, everything trickles down. There’s also the general decline in large crypto offerings like BTC and ETH that have day traders and long-term investors with their fingers crossed looking for a break.