Cryptocurrency Regulation Petition Started in India by Bitcoin Community to Accelerate Changes


It is fairly well known that the crypto community in India has suffered a number of setbacks due to various government regulations that have stalled the industry and forced several companies to leave the country or wind-up operations due to the harshness of the regulatory climate.

Some details of a new bill called the “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019” came out and while they give some clarity as to the possible future of crypto in India, they have also led to more questions than and answers and while two local publications have claimed that they have the bill in their possession, there are still questions.

In order to quell these questions in blockchain lawyer Varun Sethi has started a new petition which is directed towards the Department of Economic Affairs and the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). the purpose of this petition which started on June 15, 2019, is to get the government to implement a regulatory framework that will help guide the cryptocurrency industry in India.

The Petition

“This petition is neither sponsored by any specific blockchain or cryptoasset company / exchange / group in any manner whatsoever nor has any compensation being received from anyone to initiate such petition,” the petition says, “The purpose of this petition is to engage the blockchain community and the government in a more democratic and engaging environment to accelerate the implementation of regulatory framework regarding blockchain and cryptoassets in India and relinquish the ambiguity which has developed around it.”

The existence of this petition speaks to the frustrating environment that has been created due to the lack of clear regulation regarding cryptocurrency within the country.

Sethi pointed out India is home to almost 3 million tech developers and it is expected that that number will grow to over 5 million in the next 4 years. He also pointed out that the banking restrictions imposed on crypto businesses in April 2018 and the right to information request that he filed revealed that the Reserve Bank of India did not do the necessary research before the ban was implemented.

He also drew comparisons to various countries such as Japan, Malta, Canada, Estonia, Germany and Norway who are doing much better and regulating cryptocurrency and are taking full advantage of the potential of blockchain and not giving a blanket ban.

His argument is the official definitions need to be given for terms such as blockchain and crypto assets and create a regulatory sandbox in which who crypto assets can be tested in with proper regulations such as KYC and AML guidelines should be implemented.

“The success of the petition shall be when the government issues guidelines for a democratic regulatory framework for blockchain and cryptoassets entities in India, perhaps on the suggestions stated above,” he said.

There has also been a good amount of press surrounding the issue as Rajya Sabha TV (RSTV), a popular television network channel and is only by an Upper House of the parents on Indian number recently an episode of Polic watch Friday which looked into the government's decision to ban cryptocurrency.

The TV show often features commentary and discussion from many within government and their decision to tackle the subject of a crypto ban helps to bring awareness to what is happening.

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