India's Supreme Court Gives Government 4-Week Deadline for Submitting Crypto Regulations

Omar Faridi

India’s Supreme Court has reportedly refused to hold any additional hearings that involve cryptocurrency-related cases.

The Supreme Court of India has also instructed the Union of India to develop and present a cryptocurrency regulatory framework within the next four weeks. This, according to local news outlet Inc42 - which also revealed in its announcement (posted on February 25th) that the Court will “come up” with its own judgement should India’s government fail to provide clear policies and guidelines for firms or individuals dealing in cryptocurrencies.

Court Refuses To Hold Additional Hearings Regarding Cryptos

Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Vineet Saran have reportedly been appointed to handle this matter - which has been delayed for several months now as a comprehensive set of crypto regulations were expected to be introduced towards the end of last year. Vijay Pal Dalmia, a senior advocate and one of the earliest petitioners assigned to the case, told Inc42 that the Court has now given an additional and final opportunity to the Union of India to formulate and propose a clear crypto regulatory policy.

India’s Supreme Court has also refused to hold additional hearings for the opposing sides, who had been arguing against the reserve bank’s (RBI) circular (submitted last year). The Indian central bank’s circular had instructed all local banks to stop offering services to those dealing in cryptocurrencies. Although the nation’s Supreme Court supported the RBI’s initial stance against the use of cryptocurrencies, it now appears that regulations governing the responsible use of digital assets will be proposed in the coming weeks.

Commenting on these developments, Nischal Shetty, the founder of CEO of local crypto exchange, WazirX said that this would be the first time that India’s Supreme Court has set a fixed timeline for the government to prepare and submit a set of regulatory guidelines for cryptoassets.

In the past four months, Shetty has been involved in actively campaigning for the development and introduction of a proper set of regulations for digital assets.

Local Crypto Firms Fight Against RBI's Ruling

On April 6, 2018, the RBI had released a circular which stated that all local banks and other regulated financial institutions must refrain from offering services to businesses and individuals involved in crypto-related initiatives. A few weeks later, Kali Digital Eco Systems (an Ahmedabad, India-based crypto startup which manages local crypto exchange CoinRecoil) argued against the RBI’s ban. Representatives from Kali Digital told the High Court in Delhi that RBI’s ruling against cryptocurrencies should not be supported - according to Articles 19 (1) (g) and 14 of the Indian Constitution.

As noted by Inc42:

The Article 14 ‘Equality Before Law’ states that the State shall not deny any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India, prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. As per Article 19 (1) (g), all citizens shall have the right to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

Malta's Financial Watchdog Warns Against Two Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Malta’s financial watchdog, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), has issued statements against two cryptocurrency trading platform that reportedly don’t have licenses to operate in the country.

The MSFA, over two warnings, warned against both Crypto Foxtrades and COINMALEX.0 In the first warning the financial watchdog wrote it was aware Crypto Foxtrades claims to be “a licensed and regulated trading platform that serves over 500,000 customers globally,” and that it purports to be “licensed and regulated” by the MFSA.

The regulator warned the public against “undertaking nay business or transaction” with the entity operating Crypto Foxtrades, writing:

The MFSA wishes to alert the public, in Malta and abroad, that Crypto Foxtrades is NOT a Maltese registered Company NOR licenced or otherwise authorised by the MFSA to provide the service of an exchange or other financial services which are required to be licenced or otherwise authorised under Maltese law.

The second warning saw the MFSA write that it has become aware of COINMALEX, which claims to offer “trust assets management of the highest quality on the basis of profitable CryptoCurrency trading through Crypto exchanges”.

The organization states it operating from Malta, but the MFSA issued a similar warning to the public against using it as it isn’t licensed or authorized to operate in the country, clarifying it “does not believe” it operates from an address in Malta.

The MFSA added.

Furthermore, information available to the MFSA suggests that COINMALEX is likely to be a scheme of dubious nature with a high risk of loss of money.

On both warnings, Malta’s financial watchdog advised the public to be “extra cautious” when the entity offering financial services approaches them “via unconventional channels such as telephone calls or social media.

Earlier this year, the MSFA said leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance wasn’t authorized to operate in the country. On social media its CEO Changpeng Zhao responded saying to reports on the statement from the MFSA saying there was a “mix of truth, FUD & misconception” circulating.

Featured image via Pixabay.