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India Crypto Regulations | Is a Decision on the Horizon?

India has been weighing its regulations on cryptocurrency for the past few months and it seems the government will finally come to a conclusion about blockchain and digital currencies by the end of 2018, Quartz India reports.

India Crypto Regulations

The Finance Ministry Panel in India is still evaluating how to treat blockchain and cryptocurrencies separately. The crypto ban in the country was first announced back in early April of this year, but the country’s regulators didn’t act on anything until July.

All of India’s crypto ban announcements have come by way of local media sources, but nothing has come directly from the Reserve Bank of India. Back in July, it was reported that the Reserve Bank of India banned all crypto banking services after July fifth.

Any business that handles digital currencies would no longer have access to banking services within India. There were a few petitions to get this banking ban pushed back but the ban went into effect on the date planned. A final date for revoking the banking ban is set for September 11th.

Now, the country’s regulators are trying to find a way to adopt blockchain technology without having to revoke its original ban on cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain Integration

“Blockchain is an interesting thing. We definitely want to milk it effectively for financial transactions. So all officials are really trying hard to understand how to separately use blockchain, without cryptocurrency,” an anonymous senior government official told QZ. “And understanding a new software takes time.”

This official said that the panel still has tons of studying that they need to do on the cryptocurrency and blockchain issues. The key issue they are facing is how to separate them and if regulations can be drawn up to push the use of blockchain independently.

The panel should come to their conclusion by the end of the year, but that still could be pushed back some.

>> The EU has been urging regulators not to ban cryptocurrencies

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Zebpay Closes Fiat | Rupee Withdrawal & Deposit Halted in Crypto Ban

Zebpay closes fiat: The largest cryptocurrency exchange in India, Zebpay, has suspended fiat deposits and withdrawals as a result of the India crypto banking ban.

Zebpay Closes Fiat: Deposits and Withdrawals Suspended

Zebpay users will not be able to withdraw rupees until the cryptocurrency exchange finds a banking service that allows the withdrawal.

The company states that in the meantime, its users can place a withdrawal request and it will return the rupee balance when a financial system is found.

>> India Crypto Banking Ban

The announcement also specifies what would happen if Zebpay accounts were compromised in the interim. The press release says:

“As a responsible corporation, we regard customer-protection and market-integrity as our primary objectives. In light of that, please note that if Zebpay bank accounts are disrupted, rupee deposits and withdrawals will become impossible. This can cause discontinuation of crypto trade based on rupees, or at least cause significant price movements. This is something you should keep in mind if you choose to hold rupees in your Zebpay account.”

Zebpay warned its users on June 21st that this could be a possibility, and it has come to fruition.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Tomorrow, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will prohibit all financial institutions from providing services to companies within the cryptocurrency sector. There have been several legal attempts to revoke this ban, but the Supreme Court has denied all of them.

There will be four petitions that will be heard by the Supreme Court on July 20th, and we could potentially see a reversal of the ban at this time.

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India Crypto Ban | Is the RBI Really Going Through With It?

India crypto ban: According to various media outlets, the Reserve bank of India (RBI) will succeed in its ban on cryptocurrencies starting July fifth.

India’s Supreme Court has refused the extension of the grace period in which cryptocurrency entities could continue their banking services. This means that businesses that handle digital currencies will no longer have access to banking services domestically.

India Crypto Ban

This morning, the Supreme Court was presented a petition by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) against the cryptocurrency banking ban. The IAMAI holds members that include major domestic cryptocurrency exchanges in India, such as ZebPay, Unocoin, and Waxzix.

Prior to this hearing, many industry participants were hopeful that the court would revoke the ban. Nonetheless, the major Indian cryptocurrency exchanges have been exploring other banking alternatives, just in case – and good thing too!

The ban will take place on July fifth, but the Supreme court will hear four other petitions on July 20th.

July 20th

Nischal Shetty, Wazirx’s CEO, said:

“The IAMAI had [also] submitted a representation to the RBI which was a detailed document explaining blockchain, cryptos and how they function. The RBI has said it will respond to that within 7 days….The representation was made with the belief that if the RBI gets a deep understanding of blockchain and crypto then they may go easy on the ban and think about regulations.”

The ban may be in effect for a few weeks, but could potentially be revoked the same month. Crypto exchanges are looking ahead and coming up with alternatives in the meantime. Wazirx is planning on launching a PRP crypto transfer service that will allow its users to sell and buy cryptocurrencies through its escrow service, which bypasses the RBI ban.

Koinex is also planning on launching its own P2P network named loop. Currently, Koinex, Unocoin, and Zebpay hold their own crypto-to-crypto trading platforms.

The question remains, will the cryptocurrency market take a hit if the banks follow through with their ban? Do you think they will hold off on the ban until their hearing on the 20th? We shall see.

>> Major European Banks Successfully Test Cross-Border  Trades on IBM Blockchain Platform

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