Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Discredits Blockchain and Crypto Group Formation Idea

Though RBI Was Supposed to Research New Technologies, They Deny New Unit Dedicated to Cryptocurrency

The Central Bank of India, RBI, recently setup a new unit that was supposed to be dedicated to the research of newly emerging technologies, along with the creation of rules and supervision of them. However, there are allegations that the true intent of this unit was to research cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, and artificial intelligence, based on media reports.

The idea that the central bank would be performing certain functions with their new unit was originally suggested in an Economic Times article on August 27th. In the article, the author claimed,

“The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed a new unit within the central bank to beef up its own intellectual capital in the face of emerging technologies like cryptocurrency, blockchain and artificial intelligence.”

Adding to the suspicion, the news outlet would not quit. At that time, they said,

“The unit is just about a month old as of now and though a chief general manager is identified to lead it, a formal announcement internally has not been made yet. This new unit will research and possibly draft rules and supervise new emerging technologies in the future, two people familiar with the central bank’s plans said.”

Despite these rumors, RBI has aggressively been denying that intent. Coin Crunch India published an article that reported on RBI’s stance, saying that the bank “denies setting up research unit on cryptocurrency, blockchain or AI.” RBI expressed this notion after author Naimish Sangvi submitted an official Right to Information (RTI) request. This request makes it possible for any citizen within India to find out information from a public authority.

Within the request, Sanghvi inquired,

“An Economic Times report…claims that RBI has setup a new unit to research AI and blockchain technology. Please let us know if this is true and who is heading this unit.”

He also explained,

“I personally filed an RTI application asking the RBI to provide more information on the new unit.” He included the URL for his Economic Times article. However, he noted, “About a month later, on September 26th, RBI disposed of the RTI with the below reply.”

The reply said,

“There is no new unit created formally in RBI for the purpose mentioned in RTI query. Therefore, there is no information to furnish in the matter.”

Even though there is still concern in the air about how truthful the company has been, RBI has still been vocal about the need to watch over developing cryptocurrencies.

If nothing else, RBI has at least confirmed that they are presently “keeping a close watch on cryptocurrency.” Since April, they have been keeping banks from offering crypto services, which has resulted in multiple petitions against the restriction. Even though the Supreme Court of India had a scheduled hearing on September 11th to hear out the petitioners, this case has been delayed.

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