Supreme Court of India postpones its cryptocurrency ban hearing

By Hazel Davis

Digital currency hearing will now take place in November

                                

Hazel Davis 10.28 17/10/19

The Supreme Court of India has postponed a hearing called to consider the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) ban on cryptocurrency.

Issued in April 2018, the RBI’s ban prevents banks from providing services to any individual or business that deals with cryptocurrencies. The bank also announced it was considering releasing its own cryptocurrency in the future.

In April 2019, the Indian government reportedly started work on a draft law, Banning of Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies Bill 2019. The draft suggests a prison sentence for anyone trading in cryptocurrencies – despite an estimated 5 million Indians owning crypto assets.

This news led to many registering their crypto businesses abroad in anticipation of the bill coming into effect. There have also been discussions around the idea of an official virtual currency, a digital rupee, regulated by the RBI.

However, the RBI said it did not communicate with governmental agencies during the legislative process and had not received a copy of the draft.

In August 2019, the Supreme Court criticised the RBI for its handling of the ban and has ordered it to address complaints. The date has now been extended to 19 November to account for national holidays in the country.

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