Bitcoin Legal in India: Exchanges Resume INR Banking Service After Supreme Court Verdict Allows Cryptocurrency
Indian cryptocurrency exchanges are bringing back banking support after the Supreme Court of India struck down the banking ban on the crypto industry. News.Bitcoin.com talked to several crypto exchange executives to find out the effects of the supreme court ruling and what their exchanges plan to offer users now that the banking ban has been removed.
Supreme Court Verdict on Cryptocurrency
After almost two years, the Indian crypto community finally won the battle against the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and crypto enthusiasts are celebrating worldwide. The Supreme Court of India passed judgment on Wednesday striking down the central bank’s April 2018 circular which bans regulated financial institutions from providing services to crypto businesses. The court held that the RBI circular is unconstitutional, as news.Bitcoin.com reported.
Following the judgment, the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom), a major trade association of Indian Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing industry, tweeted:
The Indian supreme court has ruled that the RBI circular which bans banks from providing services to crypto businesses is unconstitutional. The RBI banking ban on the crypto industry has now been lifted.
We welcome the supreme court’s decision to lift RBI’s ban on trading in cryptocurrency. We believe that banning tech is not the solution, a risk-based framework must be developed to regulate and monitor cryptocurrencies and tokens.
Indian Parliament Member Dr. Subramanian Swamy has been keeping up with the crypto vs. RBI case. Referring to the supreme court (SC) verdict on cryptocurrency, he tweeted on March 4: “SC allows cryptocurrency trading, cancels RBI’s 2018 circular.” Responding to a question of whether cryptocurrency could lead to “any black money or corruption where babus and netas start using crypto instead of currency notes,” he wrote:
If it is unstoppable then develop software to regulate it. Blanket ban is useless.
Dr. Swamy said in December that “Cryptocurrency is inevitable.” The lawmaker chaired a conference at the UN India’s headquarters the same month which discussed issues surrounding cryptocurrency in the country. Both the government and the RBI have confirmed that cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, are legal in India.Parliament Member Dr. Subramanian Swamy said “Cryptocurrency is inevitable.” He believes that a blanket ban on cryptocurrency is useless.
Crypto Exchange CEOs Share Their Thoughts
After the news of the supreme court lifting the RBI ban broke, social media was flooded with victorious comments. Nischal Shetty, CEO of local crypto exchange Wazirx who has been spearheading the “#Indiawantscrypto” social medial campaign, views the ruling as a great victory. “#Indiawantscrypto is a success after 489 days. Overall a great sentiment for crypto globally and for Indian crypto ecosystem,” he told news.Bitcoin.com, elaborating:
Today’s a historic day for the entire Indian crypto ecosystem. This positive judgement will open doors to massive crypto adoption in India. It proves that we can now innovate, and the entire country can participate in the blockchain revolution.
He added: “With over 1 billion population, the Indian market is a sleeping giant. I’m confident that this judgment will have positive impact on the global crypto ecosystem. This will lead to more startups in crypto in India. Hundreds of startups will be created. VC investment will activate in the sector. More jobs.”
Kunal Barchha cofounded crypto exchange Coinrecoil, the first company to challenge the RBI ban in court. However, they withdrew their writ petition in August last year due to financial burden. He told news.Bitcoin.com on Wednesday: “We do plan to launch the exchange but the legal battle has put us in stress — financially. We had a couple of investors before two years that backed off after the circular. We are aggressively getting in touch with them and new investors for fundraising.”
Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO of crypto exchange Unocoin, said to news.Bitcoin.com:
The 22 month long wait to get what the crypto industry was already eligible for is now over. This marks an important milestone both in India and globally and helps in bringing positive perspective towards the crypto trading activity which became unclear during the wait.
Vikram Subburaj, CEO of Indian crypto exchange Giottus, shared with news.Bitcoin.com:
Big win for the crypto community in India. Landmark judgment for the crypto-enthusiasts. This will bring back lot of enthusiasm among customers and help India become a forerunner in cryptocurrency space.
Gaurav Dahake, CEO of crypto exchange Bitbns, commented:
We are quite excited about the ban lift, which is a much-awaited relief for us and the entire crypto community. It’s such a morale boost and will definitely help us bring back the high-volume traders who were concerned about the tips involved in our P2P transaction system, and have been unable to transact small amounts. We are happy that they finally have a resolution.
He continued: “Besides, we hope the media houses across the country would cover the news positively and the myths questioning the legality of crypto in India, would ideally be reduced to nil. Lastly, and most importantly, we are confident that this verdict would give rise to a greater ecosystem in a country where innovation has always had a place, and rope in new investors, better support for blockchain-based projects, and eventually, create more jobs in India.”
INR Banking Returns to Crypto Exchanges in India
Following the supreme court order, cryptocurrency exchanges in India rushed to re-integrate banking solutions and bring back INR support through bank accounts. Unocoin’s Vishwanath said “We would spring back to business,” adding that his exchange launched a lending platform on Wednesday. Unocoin announced that INR deposits and withdrawals would resume at 11:30 a.m. (Indian Standard Time) on Thursday.
Wazirx’s Shetty confirmed: “we’re working on the banking integration and plan to get it out soon. Indians will be able to directly deposit and withdraw INR into their Wazirx wallet very soon.” As for his popular peer-to-peer (P2P) platform, he noted, “We’ll continue P2P and gauge the interest of the users.” Wazirx then announced Thursday that INR deposits are now live on its exchange.
Giottus’ Subburaj clarified: “We have already rolled out our solution for processing INR deposit and withdrawals instantly for customers. We are also in talks with array of banks to ensure back up and ease of transferring INR for customers. Proper regulations from the government of India should be coming soon.” For three days starting March 4, Giottus is offering 0% INR deposit and withdraw fees and 0% trading fees. The exchange claims to process INR withdrawals within 10 mins or the user gets 10 free XRP. “Big win for the crypto community, let us celebrate now,” the exchange declared.
Meanwhile, U.K.-based banking platform Cashaa has been providing INR services to Indian users since October last year. The platform started offering fee-free deposits and withdrawals in the beginning of March. “In India, huge damage was done due to a lack of crypto awareness and RBI decision which is now reversed by the Supreme Court of India,” CEO Kumar Gaurav described. “But banking crypto companies will also bring similar risks which banks in other developed countries such as Japan, Europe and the USA are facing. Cashaa’s goal was always to create a hassle-free banking experience for the crypto community.”
Do you think crypto will take off in India now that the supreme court has lifted the RBI ban? Let us know in the comments section below.
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