The cryptocurrency scene in the Indian subcontinent is getting murkier day-by-day.
In a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by Varun Sethi, a legal consultant, on April 9th, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) confirmed that it does not have any internal team studying the implications of cryptocurrencies or, as mentioned in the questionnaires, “virtual currencies.”
Moreover, the apex bank even confirmed that it did not set up any committee before taking its hostile stand against cryptocurrencies.
— Blockchain Lawyer (@Blockchainlaw91) June 12, 2018
However, it is to be noted that the RBI is a part of two committees instated by the Ministry of Finance to study the controversial cryptocurrencies.
Sethi, also the founder of blockchainlawyer.in, told the local news outlet Economic Times: “The RBI specifically mentions that it conducted no research or consultation before the implementation of restriction in April. The RBI also responded that no committee was ever formed for analyzing the concept of blockchain before the decision.”
Earlier in April, the RBI ordered the banks and other financial institutions to end all ties with the cryptocurrency businesses including exchange and wallet platforms. That order created a stir in the booming crypto community in India, a country responsible for 10 percent of all Bitcoin transactions.
This forced the exchanges to knock the doors of courts against the apex bank. Multiple exchanges even joined hands to file a petition against the order in the Supreme Court of India, which is scheduled to be heard on 20th July.
According to the crypto businesses, the RBI did not consult with any representative of the blockchain industry. Some are even accusing the bank to have violated their constitutional right.
Commenting on the RTI responses, Rashmi Deshpande, associate partner at Khaitan & Co., the law firm representing one of the petitioners at the apex court, told Economic Times: “This RBI response has cemented our case ahead of the hearing in SC. The grounds on which our writ petition has been filed is that the RBI has not done enough research to ban a business completely.”
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