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Indian Supreme Court has postponed the long-awaited petition hearing against the Central bank’s ban on crypto dealings from July 20, 2018 to September 11, 2018. In April 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that commercial banks have to stop all the crypto related businesses. This has resulted in prohibition of local banks from providing any kind of crypto related businesses to individuals as well as businesses.
Post the Crypto ban in April, most of the exchanges in India have moved to peer-to-peer support platforms such as Localbitcoin, Coindelta and Koinex. Some of the largest exchanges like Zebpay, Coinone and BuyUcoin removed all fiat deposits and withdrawals. In mid-May, the Supreme Court had upheld RBI’s crypto dealings ban until the July hearing. The deadline to implement the ban on dealing with crypto-related accounts expired July 5. Since then, Indian citizens have not been able to buy and sell crypto on exchanges and crypto exchanges & companies cannot receive loans from banks in India. Therefore, India’s crypto community was looking forward for the decision day but because of this delay the community will continue to struggle for little longer.
The petition was put forth to chief justice Dipak Misra and justices AM Khanwilkar & DY Chandrachud with India’s attorney general KK Venugopal also present, underlining the significance of the matter. As per media houses, the hearing has been postponed because SEBI together with a number of other parties have not filed their responses. The Supreme Court listened to “limited arguments” on the behalf of the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and RBI, but due to non-filing of responses by others, final arguments were postponed to September 11, 2018.
What’s in Future
While September 11 is shaping up to be judgment day for the India cryptocurrency community, an unlikely ally could see India’s government could bring respite to adopters and the wider ecosystem by establishing regulations, currently in draft, to effectively recognize and legalize the sector in the near future. Also, as per anonymous sources in the government, it is believed that Indian regulators might treat cryptocurrency as a commodity rather than instituting a blanket ban.