India’s Supreme Court upholds RBI cryptocurrency ban

July 20, 2018
Chris Wheal

India’s attitude towards cryptocurrencies is still unclear: Shutterstock

India’s cryptocurrency exchanges have failed in their latest effort to overturn the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) diktat that the country’s banks should not do business with them.

In April the RBI gave banks three months to wind down all their cryptocurrency-related accounts, a deadline that expired in the first week of July. The order was challenged by the exchanges in the Supreme Court, which resumed its hearings today.

However, the ban was upheld after the hearing saw ‘limited arguments’ brought forward by lawyers on behalf of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), which counts domestic cryptocurrency exchanges as its members, and the RBI. The Supreme Court decided to defer the date of hearing again, and the final arguments will now be heard on September 11.

Although the crypto community were hopeful that a strong case for reversing the ban would be put forward today, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and several other prominent authorities have not yet filed their responses and they now have a further eight weeks to complete them.

Some reports suggest that an inter-governmental committee of various ministries tasked with developing a framework for the cryptocurrency sector isn’t likely to decide on any outright ban on trading, but could instead decide that cryptocurrencies be classified as commodities.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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