India’s Supreme Court is to continue keeping cryptonians in the world’s second most populous country on edge after a much awaited hearing today led to no decision.
According to a legal platform based in India called Crypto Kanoon, the “Supreme Court listed the matter for final disposal on 11th September. All (remaining) parties to file their reply within 4 weeks,” they say.
The hearing has effectively been adjourned or postponed with the banking ban to continue in the meantime. Crypto Kanoon says:
“Limited arguments were advanced on behalf of IAMAI and RBI today. Since SEBI and few others have not filed their response to the Petition seeking regulation, so the Court directed for completion of pleadings.”
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) was represented by Gopal Subramaniam who stated in court:
“In the world of digitalisation, such a Circular from RBI would be a loss,” with RBI being India’s central bank. While SEBI is India’s SEC. They apparently had failed to respond, leading in part to this adjournment.
In the meantime, Indian crypto exchanges have gone peer to peer, facilitating direct bank transfers from individuals through an escrow system somewhat similar to Localbitcoins.
While the Indian government is looking at the matter, with a potential u-turn hinted after an unnamed senior government official says:
“Trade is not a criminal offence. Most of us trade in various asset classes in the stock market. So how is this (cryptocurrency trading) any different?”
They have set-up a panel to study cryptocurrencies, with the unnamed source further stating earlier this month:
“I don’t think anyone is really thinking of banning it (cryptocurrencies) altogether. The issue here is about regulating the trade and we need to know where the money is coming from. Allowing it as a commodity may let us better regulate trade and so that is being looked at.”
Cryptocurrencies have not been banned in India. The central bank has no jurisdiction over them and the government there has passed no crypto related law as far as we are aware.
The central bank does however have jurisdiction over banks, and they have ordered banks to not serve crypto exchanges. A court ruling would now be needed to overturn that or an act of parliament. Whether either will go through, remains to be seen.