Indian Supreme Court Lifts Central Bank’s Ban Against Cryptocurrency Exchanges

The Supreme Court of India has sided with petitions from cryptocurrency exchanges and other industry players that challenged a banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, in April 2018.

The Reserve Bank of India barred at the time banks from servicing cryptocurrency exchanges and other businesses dealing with cryptocurrency, prompting several trading platforms to file petitions looking to overturn the move. In April 2019.

The case, which pitted the RBI against the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) was heard by a three-judge bench led by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman, and saw the country’s higher court rule that the central bank’s circular was unconstitutional.

In 2018, when the RBI’s circular came into effect, cryptocurrency exchanges were forced to either relocate, shut down, or adopt a crypto-to-crypto or over-the-counter business model. The ban’s lift gives businesses in the space a chance to push against stricter rules being planned by the government.

On social media Zebpay, a crypto exchange that recently reopened in the country, noted it won’t “stop here” as the community will “continue to engage with the government to bring positive regulations through legislation.” Nischal Shetty, the founder of local crypto exchange WazirX, celebrated the ruling saying “crypto has won in India.”

In an emailed statement Neeraj Khandelwal, co-founder of crypto exchange CoinDCX, said:

We thank the Supreme Court and the entire community who stood with us in this case, and for everyone who contributed to the process of reaching today’s landmark decision. Today should be a celebration of the capabilities of young entrepreneurs in this country—I believe the uplifting of this ban will unleash new possibilities for tremendous growth and never-seen-before innovation in India’s technology sector.

Sumit Gupta, co-founder and CEO of the trading platform, added that the “uplifting of the ban by the Supreme Court is going to open new opportunities for India in terms of investments, economic growth, financial inclusion, and market maturation.”

Despite its ban on private cryptocurrencies, the Reserve Bank of India is reportedly looking into creating its own digital currency, just like various other central banks throughout the world.

Featured image via Pixabay.