Following the news that the Central Bank of India ordered all entities regulated by them to break their relationship with crypto related businesses within a time frame of three months, an unverified person/group filed a petition on Change.org - “Make India at the forefront of Blockchain Applications revolution”, in an effort to counter the decision. The petition has reached about 22,000 signatures so far and industry experts have begun urging others to support the petition.
The petition has gained 22,000 signatures
The petition was filed on April 5th and spread quickly among crypto participants. Crypto enthusiasts in India have been bewildered with the lack of regulatory guidance in the crypto space. To add more confusion and panic to the crypto market, the government banned banks from dealing with crypto-related businesses, although these businesses were not banned directly. The move by the government has been noted by some as authoritarian, as it can curb the progress of crypto space and does nothing to accommodate the nascent technology and its users.
In response to the ban, Ajeet Khurana, CEO of India’s most popular crypto exchange Zebpay, tweeted-
No way I am stopping. We will continue to do what is best for our customers, and what is best for our country. Am studying the present situation and will react shortly. and we will emerge stronger.— Ajeet Khurana (@AjeetK) April 5, 2018
Indian crypto companies moving to other locations
As a growing economy, India should take advantage of the crypto wave which has the possibility to open new doors for employment and wealth distribution. According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, an independent think tank that produces economic and business databases, there are about 31 million unemployed people in the country. The blockchain and crypto space have generated thousands of jobs and a ban as such from the central bank could impede the advancement of the crypto space.
The petition states,
“There are tens of thousands of youth that have gotten jobs or employment with blockchain and relating companies. This is massive for a government which has not been able to improve the employment rate.”
Tim Draper, American Venture Capitalist, dubbed the Indian government’s ignorance of the cryptocurrency market as “the stupidest thing”. Moreover, he stated, “If I had a meeting with Modi, I would have let him know he is making a huge mistake”
Bitcoin Bull Draper, also said that fintech and crypto companies would move to other locations if the currency mood of government does not change.
“If the local authorities are banning crypto, then companies in the space should move elsewhere. The government needs to realize that it is stifling innovation and should instead be creating an environment where these ideas can be tested and promoted. They have the choice to be trendsetters and attract the world’s best engineers and coders, or lose their best and brightest to other regions.”
As a fact, the directive by the Reserve Bank of India has led to two crypto companies - BFXC coin and AL Kasir Group - to move their businesses to Dubai. As reported on local newspaper DNA, head of BFXC Prashant Manu said the operation has already started in Dubai and Georgia.
The poorly thought out decision can adversely impact and cripple the crypto space in the country. The move has been noted by the crypto community as a way to force out Indian people from participating in the crypto revolution. Such stringent decisions will only encourage the illegal routes of trading within the country and force lawful users into using unregulated, peer-to-peer or foreign services.
Will the petition encourage the government to reconsider its decision?