Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said India is open to innovation in the world of digital assets to keep pace with rapid technological advancements. Sitharaman told CNBC that the country’s Reserve Bank has not completely ruled out cryptocurrencies to use and regulate, the industry will have a “window of experimentation“.
Sitharaman briefly talked about the country’s position on digital assets at the CNBC Virtual Town Hall. She said there were several negotiations with the Reserve Bank of India regarding an impending ban.
A lower parliament in India tabled a bill to ban all private cryptocurrencies in January. The move is to promote the development of the country’s CBDC, and the RBI will publish and oversee the CBDC. For the country’s cryptocurrency enthusiasts and stakeholders, this was not a good solution. In response, they launched an online campaign called #IndiaWantsBitcoin to get the Reserve Bank of India to reconsider its position.
Sitharaman’s comments suggest that the movement is quite influential.
“A lot of negotiations and discussions are happening around the cryptocurrency with the Reserve Bank of India. RBI will be taking a call on what kind of unofficial cryptocurrency will have to be planned and how it has to be regulated. However, we want to make sure that there is a window available for all kinds of experiments that will have to take place in the crypto world. There will be a very calibrated position taken. A lot of mixed messages are coming from across the world. The world is moving fast with technology, we cannot pretend that we don’t want it.”She Said
Still No Final Decision About Cryptocurrencies in India
The world knows India for its controversial position on Bitcoin after following a series of “back and forth” rules. After warning investors, the government initially banned cryptocurrencies in 2018. The Supreme Court later lifted the suspension. The Supreme Court called the injunction “unconstitutional”.
India’s lower parliament has received strong opposition from the global cryptocurrency community because its proposed cryptocurrency ban appears to be a ridiculous exception. It stated that it “will allow certain exceptions to promote the cryptocurrency and the underlying technology used”. The country’s regulators have separately advertised applications to encourage the adoption of blockchain technology while banning cryptocurrencies.
The country’s non-committal approach raises questions about the country’s future in the field of digital assets.