India's Central Bank May Be Giving up on a 'Crypto-Rupee', Report Claims

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central bank, has reportedly shelved plans to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) for now, as it “doesn’t want the digital currency” anymore, believes it’s “too early to even think about a digital currency.”

According to local news outlet The Hindu Business, unnamed sources have revealed India’s central bank is no longer looking to launch its own CBDC, but may instead be looking at what other developed countries do, as it doesn’t “have a formal unit for tracking of, and policy-formation on” cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

The news outlet’s source was quoted as saying:

The government doesn’t want the digital currency any more. It thinks it is too early to even think about a digital currency.

The RBI initially revealed it was looking into the possibility of launching a cryptocurrency in April of 2018, when it established a group to look into its potential advantages. Reportedly, its idea would be to better control money laundering and cybersecurity threats, among others, through its CBDC.

As CryptoGlobe covered, in October a private panel with India’s finance ministry revealed high ranking officials were considering a national cryptocurrency, although not every official agreed such a token would be a step forward for the country.

Per The Hindu Business the founder of crypto exchange Belfrics, Praveen Kumar, noted that it’s too early for the RBI to “launch [a] crypto-rupee” as more understanding of the cryptocurrency economy is required. Waiting to see how it evolves, he said, is the “right decision.”

Kunal Nadwani, the CEO of uTrade Solutions, claimed government throughout the world will “launch fiat cryptocurrencies, whether out of compulsion or choice,” adding that the ability to tax their citizens in whichever token they choose lets them create fiat-currency based cryptos. Per his words, however, “it will take time before central banks are able to make this transition.”

Notably, local media have also recently reported that an interdisciplinary committee set up by the Indian government is looking into regulating and legalizing cryptocurrencies in the country, although with tough terms and conditions.

Last year, India’s RBI notably used a circular that ordered commercial banks to stop dealing with cryptocurrency-related firms. The move, as CryptoGlobe covered, saw one of India’s largest exchanges by trading volume, Zebpay, shut down.

At the time the crypto community fought back, and saw a missive from the country’s supreme court uphold the RBI’s decision. In late October, the supreme court even asked the government to clarify its stance on cryptocurrencies.

Not One, but Two U.S. Presidential Candidates Want Your Crypto

Out of all 2020 U.S. presidential candidates, two are currently accepting cryptocurrency donations, which are reportedly both helping them raise more money and stand out amongst the crowd.

As reported by Yahoo Finance, California Rep. Eric Swalwell has recently started accepting cryptocurrency donations, joining fellow Democratic candidate Andrew Yang. Swalwell’s campaign is currently accepting crypto through The White Company.

The company, founded by entrepreneur Elizabeth White, is helping Swalwell’s campaign accept bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin SV (BSV), ether (ETH), stellar lumens (XLM), and its own stablecoin called WSD. The stablecoin runs on the Stellar network, which recently suffered a brief outage.

In a video on his cryptocurrency donations page, Swalwell notes that “blockchain can change the world” if we allow it to, and that while there’s a risk associated with the nascent technology we must “test, re-test, and constantly monitor such systems.” He adds that:

Government has to keep up with the times, and the times have changed. We must study, but ultimately embrace, these new frontiers.

Through a press release shared with CryptoGlobe, The White Company noted that thanks to the Stellar-based stablecoin and other cryptocurrencies, Swalwell can accept crypto donations and have instant access to the funds, as transaction fees are “less than a penny and settle in 3 seconds.”

Fellow Democratic candidate Andrew Yang is also accepting crypto donations. In fact, he has been doing so for nearly a year and is known by some as the “bitcoin candidate.” Yang, according to reports, was the first candidate to call for clearer regulatory guidelines on cryptocurrencies.

On social media, some users have started using the “#YangGang” hashtag to discuss his campaign and his views on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Speaking at the Consensus conference in New York earlier this month, Yang stated:

I believe blockchain needs to be a big part of our future. If I’m in the White House, oh boy are we going to have some fun in terms of the cryptocurrency community.

When asked about Yang’s reputation in the crypto space, Swalwell told Yahoo Finance he’s “glad to see other candidates using innovative technologies in their campaigns.” In the press release shared with CryptoGlobe, The White Company noted it’s faster to donate crypto through it.

This, as there’s no need for a “30-minute compliance call,” which Yang’s campaign asks supporters to participate in before sending over a wallet address they can donate to. As the news outlet notes, Swalwell has accepted crypto donations when he ran for Congress in 2012, although he reportedly owns no cryptocurrencies himself.