After the Reserve Bank of India issued a circular on the 6th of April, 2018, calling for a ban on all banking support for cryptocurrency firms, the digital currency scene in India had seen a flurry of anxiety take over. John McAfee, of the McAfee antivirus fame, had spoken out sharply against the apex bank’s move, saying it had been motivated by fear. Other sections of the crypto industry had also expressed disappointment and worry over the decision, especially as the July 6 deadline for the ban implementation grew closer.
A case was filed in the Supreme Court against the RBI circular and the crypto enthusiasts and firms waited eagerly for the verdict that was scheduled to come today, on the 20th of July. However, since some parties such as the Security and Exchanges Board of India (SEBI) and others have failed to submit their responses within the stipulated deadline, the date of hearing has been pushed back to September 11 this year. Firms like Koinex and Coindelta have been forced to switch their business models to a peer-to-peer transaction system and firms
such as Zebpay and BuyUcoin have been left with little choice but to disable all deposition and withdrawal of fiat.
Recent times have seen governments of several countries open doors to crypto, a notable example being Malta. In that global context, the verdict was eagerly awaited to not just solve the dispute at hand but to also gain an insight into the Indian attitude towards virtual currencies at large.
The petitioner, the Internet, and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) was being represented in court by former Indian Solicitor-General Mr. Gopal Subramaniam and the hearing was supposed to be presided over by several noteworthy judges including Dipak Mishra, the Chief Justice of India himself. While Mr. Subramaniam made his opening statements by detailing the loss that would be incurred by the crypto economy owing to the RBI Directive, the apex court called for considering reports from SEBI and other authorities to work out the regulation aspect of
it. The next hearing that has been set for 11th September of this year gives around 20 days for the concerned authorities to record and file their statements.
Indeed, it appears that the wait for a comprehensive solution to this deadlock just got longer with this extension. The crypto industry must once again wait with bated breath to get a tenable verdict that would solve the issue once and for all.
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