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Reserve Bank of India Says Cryptocurrencies are “Negative” and Don’t Provide Anything New to The Economy

India’s Tax Department Issues Notices to Digital Currency Users

The Reserve Bank of India will not even bother to study the possibility of testing the impact of crypto and similar virtual tokens on the development of a new regulatory framework for fintechs.

In a document entitled “Draft Enabling Framework for Regulatory Sandbox,” India’s leading financial authority explains that it studied several recent technologies, but stressed that crypto currencies, ICOs and other services based on blockchain technologies were counterproductive for the country’s economy.

An indicative negative list of products/services/technology which may not be accepted for testing is as follows:

– Credit registry

– Credit information

– Crypto currency/Crypto assets services

– Trading/investing/settling in crypto assets

– Initial Coin Offerings, etc.

– Chain marketing services

– Any product/services which have been banned by the regulators/Government of India

The explanation of the criteria of the RBI seeks to protect
the legacy techs and services. The RBI mentions that according to its view,
crypto currencies bring nothing new to the country’s financial system, so they
do not deserve to be taken into account by the regulatory sandbox:

The entities may not be suitable for RS if the proposed financial service is similar to those that are already being offered in India unless the applicants can show that either a different technology is being gainfully applied or the same technology is being applied in a more efficient and effective manner.

India Never Liked Crypto

As reported by Ethereum World News, the government of India has exerted excessive pressure to prevent the use of crypto currencies in the country. Recently, the Indian Exchanges Coindelta and Zebpay had to close unexpectedly due to the extreme constrains from the RBI

Similarly, earlier in the year, a series of threats from private banks to customers who had been identified as crypto users were reported in social media. According to multiple users, their accounts were being closed without notice.

In India, there is still no law expressly prohibiting the use of cryptocurrencies, but the government has exerted so much pressure on users that – despite the judgement of the country’s courts – cryptos are virtually banned.

The post Reserve Bank of India Says Cryptocurrencies are “Negative” and Don’t Provide Anything New to The Economy appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Coinbase Rolls Out to India, Mexico and 9 Other Regions, Offering Crypto-to-Crypto Trading

A leading US Coinbase exchange spreads the word that is has added 11 more countries to its list of customers, including India, where the RBI last year banned banks from working with any crypto company

On April 17, Coinbase wrote in its official blog that now traders in 11 more countries can enjoy using the platform’s services for crypto-to-crypto traders.

After moving to the new countries, the
exchange is now working with customers in 53 regions around the world.

Coinbase enters India, South Korea and Hong Kong

As per the message in the blog, Coinbase has
now enabled crypto fans to join in on trading in the following countries, New
Zealand, India, South Korea, Mexico, Hong Kong, and a few others.

Traders now can buy and sell crypto for crypto on Coinbase Pro, as well as Coinbase.com. Besides, users will be able to conduct crypto transactions on the Coinbase mobile app.

Coinbase expands its market

In 2018, Coinbase worked with users in 32
countries around the world. Over the last year, the exchange set itself a goal
to expand to as many parts of the globe as possible to let people access Coinbase
trading opportunities.

Now, more countries in Asia and Latin America
have joined the trading area covered by Coinbase. Apart from trading, customers
can also store, transfer and receive crypto coins.

As per the blog, Coinbase is willing to help
the world create a new system of finance:

“Realizing our mission of creating an open financial system for the world starts with making it as easy as possible to access crypto. With today’s announcement, we’re happy to take an important step in that direction.”

What Coinbase arrival means for India

The fact of Coinbase expanding is crucial for the crypto community of India. Last year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s Central Bank, banned regulated banks from working with companies or physical entities that deal with cryptocurrencies. This includes crypto exchanges and individual traders.

The ban caused some Indian exchanges, e.g. Zebpay, to cease work and shut down. Some exchanges there started using P2P trading, though. Still, the arrival of Coinbase is extremely significant for the local community.

The post Coinbase Rolls Out to India, Mexico and 9 Other Regions, Offering Crypto-to-Crypto Trading appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Indian Exchange Coindelta Suddenly Shuts Down Due to Regulatory Pressure

india crypto

The
government of India has not had a good relationship with crypto even though the
country has one of the most important markets in the region. During the last
year, the constant efforts from the Royal Bank of India to ban the use of
cryptocurrencies hurt the ecosystem, especially affecting the local exchanges,
which experienced a situation of general uncertainty that severely damaged
their business.

The last victim of India’s regulatory pressures is Coindelta. According to a post published on its official website, the Exchange announced that it would be shutting down its services due to the “unfavorable environment” in which it has been operating since its inception:

Dear Users,

Much to our regret, we will no longer be able to provide exchange services for cryptocurrencies. It has been really difficult for us to operate Coindelta exchange for the last 6 months. The curb on the bank accounts by RBI has made us handicapped in order to provide seamless deposit and withdrawal services. There has not been any significant progress in the Supreme Court case which makes it difficult to predict when we will see the regulation.

Running the exchange is very expensive in such unfavourable environment

Coindelta’s team revealed that in a year and a half of existence, they managed to gain the recognition of traders and enthusiasts thanks to their business strategy. The Exchange offered a 0% fee for market makers and only 0.3% for takers. This triggered a stimulus in trading which of course increased its presence and popularity.

Other Exchanges Offer Coindelta Users Alternatives For Them To Keep Trading

It is
imperative that users of this exchange withdraw their funds before April
29, 2019. The Exchange has said that all markets closed on March 30, 2019.
After this 30-day withdrawal period, users will not be able to move their funds
freely but will have to request access through service tickets or by
contacting the CoinDelta team via email.

Because of the high withdrawal fees, other exchanges have responded in solidarity with users. An example is Wazirx, which published an article on its official blog announcing that users could deposit their funds with a 100% refund of the withdrawal fee.

Another
Exchange that will also support Coindelta users is Bitbns, which shared the
following words this Sunday:

“We are waiving off/refunding any fee incurred while depositing funds to Bitbns from any other cryptocurrency exchange across the world. This means you can now transfer your funds from any crypto exchange to Bitbns without bearing any transfer charges,”

The post Indian Exchange Coindelta Suddenly Shuts Down Due to Regulatory Pressure appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Law Commission of India Recognizes Cryptocurrency as Means of Electronic Payment

The Law Commission of India has recognized cryptocurrency as a means of electronic payment. The pronouncement came during the Commission’s recent feasibility study of the legality of online gambling in the country. Cryptocurrency enthusiasts in India will most likely welcome this news given the negative view held by many government officials towards virtual currencies.

Law Commission Groups Cryptocurrency with Electronic Payment Channels

According to a report issued by the Law Commission:

Gambling transactions should be made cashless, making use of electronic means of payment such as credit cards, debit cards, net-banking, virtual currencies (VC, or cryptocurrency), etc.

The idea of cryptocurrencies gaining any form of recognition is one that appeals to crypto enthusiasts in the country. Commenting on the ruling, Nischal Shetty, the CEO of WazirX, a local cryptocurrency exchange platform said:

It is the first time that a body appointed by the government has given recognition to virtual currencies that they have value and can be used for a transaction. Therefore, it is a very positive sign, especially considering the report has come out after a lot of deliberation.

Presently, virtual currency regulation is a significant topic in India. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s apex bank, has prohibited local banks from facilitating cryptocurrency transactions in the country. This situation has led to a public outcry with multiple suits filed to challenge the RBI ban.

The Supreme court after having heard preliminary arguments on the case recently fixed September 11, 2018, as the date for delivering its decision on the matter.

Regulation is Better than Prohibition

The ruling offered by the Law Commission of India throws into sharp relief an important debate of which is more desirable – regulation or prohibition. The Commission’s mandate was the examine the case for legalizing betting while treating match-fixing as a criminal offense.

The same principle could also be applied to the government’s stance on cryptocurrency and the RBI ban. Commenting on this analogy, Tuhina Joshi, an associate at TRA Law, a firm with many cryptocurrency exchange platform clients, said:

The law commission recommends that regulating gambling is preferable to an outright ban. This is the same argument we are making in [the] context of cryptocurrencies.

Do you think the ruling of the Indian law commission will lead to a reversal of the RBI ban? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Image courtesy of the Law Commission of India

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India’s Supreme Court Upholds RBI Ban, Final Arguments To be Heard in September

Today was the proverbial D-Day for the cryptocurrency industry in India as the Supreme Court was scheduled to hear the case against the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) instituting a ban forbidding all commercial banks in the country from facilitating crypto related transactions. The RBI ban also forbade all other regulated financial institutions from providing the said services. However, all crypto-to-crypto transactions were not affected by the ban.

The petition to reverse the ban was forwarded to Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M Khanwilkar and D.Y Chandrachud. The country’s Attorney General was also present representing the government of India, further signifying the severity of the matter.

However, the court witnessed limited arguments brought forward by the lawyers representing the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) which considers domestic crypto exchanges as part of its fraternity. There was also lack of concrete opinion from other prominent authorities during the hearing thereby forcing the Supreme Court to defer the date of the hearing to September 11th this year.

These events were further reported by Crypto Kanoon which is the local source of crypto and blockchain related news. Crypto Kanoon reported the following in a tweet after the decision to postpone the hearing was made:

Crypto Kanoon would also add that the SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) and few other remaining parties had not filed their responses to the petition seeking regulation. All parties were given 4 weeks to file their replies with the court.

The CEO of the Pocketbits crypto exchange had this to say with regards to the outcome of today’s hearing:

Final hearing [is] slated for 11th of September. Now that is the Judgement Day.

According to sources familiar with the case, the RBI is being challenged through two aspects of the Indian constitution. The first being that all citizens of the country have the right to carry out any occupation, trade or business. The second is that the constitution also prohibits discrimination and mandates equal protection under the law of the country.

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