Supreme Court allows trading in cryptocurrency, cancels 2018 ban imposed by Reserve Bank of India



Today, the Supreme Court of India issued a verdict in favor of Crypto freedom in India, in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) vs. Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) case.

This morning, the Honorable Supreme Court announced that it has struck off RBI’s ban on banking institutions from engaging with anything related to cryptocurrency and declared RBI’s Circular dated April 6, 2018, as unconstitutional.


Although much celebrated, the verdict does not come as a complete surprise: following passionate arguments in favor of crypto, and the Judges seemingly openness to understand its benefits and the need to innovate under relaxed regulations.


What Does the Verdict Mean for India’s Crypto Future?

According to this judgement, moving forward, banking institutions in India will be able to engage in crypto-related activity. This implies that crypto exchanges in the country (and globally) will be able to offer direct INR to crypto transactions.


Moreover, the opening of crypto regulations in the country means that more people will be able to engage in crypto and blockchain innovation in the future. Many hope that the move will allow India to become a part of the blockchain revolution and emerge as one of the leaders in this space.


A Long and Intense Legal Battle

The RBI vs. IAMAI case for opening crypto restrictions in India has been ongoing for several months. Both sides presented passionate arguments for why they believe RBI’s directive banning banks from dealing with cryptocurrencies was valid and unjust respectively.


Over the past month, as the nation eagerly awaited a verdict in this matter, India’s crypto community celebrated and appreciated counsel for IAMAI, Ashim Sood’s fervent arguments in favor of crypto freedom in the country.


Sood stated that new and progressive technologies naturally caused disruption in the industry – but that was not a valid reason to ban them and stifle innovation. Government and state institutions had to adapt to new technologies, step-up to formulate adequate regulations to govern them, and employ them to their full potential for the social good.


Sood further criticized RBI for taking a pre-emptive action in banning crypto, without conducting a full review and a comprehensive study on the potential advantages and disadvantages of the tech.


Moreover, many of RBI’s reasons for banning crypto – which included money laundering, terrorist financing, and negative impact on traditional payment systems – were rendered baseless since the Central Bank had no original, concrete research to back its claims.


India has an active and robust crypto community that has thrived despite repressive regulations in the domain and grown to an impressive ecosystem of more than five million people. They cheered Sood’s fascinating arguments and took to social media to declare their support with the #IndiaWantsCrypto movement.

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