Supreme Court of India Set To Hear Final Arguments on Crypto Exchange Ban

According to local media, India’s Supreme Court will most likely be able to hear final arguments from those against the ban imposed on cryptocurrency exchanges by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today (September 26th.)

Originally, the Court was set to hear arguments on Tuesday, but an update from the Financial Express noted the judiciary body was unable to take up the matter then.

Sitting to hear final arguments is the latest step in a long-running saga between the Supreme Court, the RBI, and cryptocurrency exchanges in India.

Pushing Back Against A Ban

From last December to February of this year, the government of India maintained cryptocurrencies were not seen as legal tender.

On April 5th, the RBI said any entity that was regulated by them would have to end any business relationships with “firms and individuals dealing in cryptocurrencies.”

A number of petitions were filed against this decision, and on July 3rd, the Indian Supreme Court denied to grant interim relief, which fully implemented the RBI ban on July 6th.

Later in the month, the RBI stood fast, explaining to the Supreme Court how cryptocurrencies were not able to be regulated by the state and will also facilitate illegal transactions.

After time was granted to respond to petitions, the RBI and the central government were set to have a hearing with the Supreme Court on September 12th.

This hearing was postponed because many respondents were not actually able to file their responses, according to the Financial Express.

A Big Hit To The Industry

The RBI’s rationale behind their decision is to keep investors safe, especially those who might have been in the middle of severe price fluctuations or scams.

Cyrptocurrency exchanges who have challenged the ban say they have largely kept in line with anti-money laundering and know-your-customer stipulations.

Exchanges have also reportedly expressed their willingness to comply with more regulations by authorities.

According to Quartz, the exchange industry has suffered mightily since the ban. One exchange, Unocoin, who previously had more than 200,000 traders each month, had just about 20,000 in the months after July 6th.

UK's Regulator Warns Against Fraudulent Firm Cloning Financial Giant TP ICAP

The UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has uncovered another allegedly fraudulent crypto-related scheme.

On Friday (May 24, 2019), the FCA revealed that a company called ICAP Crypto had been impersonating an established firm known as ICAP Europe Limited. ICAP Crypto reportedly attempted to lure unsuspecting investors into a potential scam involving cryptocurrencies.

Using Company Details Belonging to Legitimate Financial Firms

While ICAP Crypto’s management does not claim its services are regulated by the FCA, the allegedly fraudulent firm has been using the company details that belong to legitimate UK-registered financial service providers.

The FCA has warned that the potential scammers operating ICAP Crypto may be using the company license information of established firms in order to lure investors into investing into a fraudulent crypto scheme.

According to the FCA, ICAP Crypto has provided contact information which may be “mixed” with details that belong to TP ICAP, one of the largest global interdealer brokers. Moreover, the FCA cautioned users that ICAP Crypto has launched a website that is not licensed by the FCA to offer financial services.

No Details Regarding Crypto Services

There’s also no association between the management and services provided by TP ICAP and ICAP Crypto, the UK’s financial regulator clarified. Furthermore, the FCA’s investigation has revealed that ICAP Crypto appears to be offering various crypto-related services including a platform to launch initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Although ICAP Crypto seems to be offering several different cryptocurrency-related products, the FCA found that the allegedly fraudulent firm has not provided any specific details regarding its services.

ICAP Crypto’s management states that its services include “a sophisticated blend of engineering with experience to empower thousands of marketers to access markets around the world through the use of digital currency entirely outside the traditional financial system.” However, it remains unclear what type of services the company actually offers.

FCA Planning To Draft Comprehensive Crypto Regulations

In January 2019, the UK’s financial regulator called for increased regulatory oversight over the leading European nation’s cryptocurrency market. In order to create regulations for digital assets, the FCA launched a consultation which requested feedback regarding how to regulate crypto transactions.

The FCA had specifically asked for feedback on how to regulate crypto exchanges, digital asset payment processing services, wallet providers, and broker dealers offering crypto derivatives.