Nischal Shetty, Founder of Indian cryptocurrency exchange, WazirX, has posted a video clip from the popular Indian televised game show “Kaun Banega Crorepati,” where the contestant was asked a question about Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency.

Shetty said that this was the time that cryptocurrency was officially acknowledged or mentioned in popular culture in the country. The game show is notably based on the British program “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” and is hosted by Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan.

Libra Gets Prime Time Moment in India

The question, “What is Libra, proposed by Facebook?” is now being seen as the first instance of mainstream recognition of the digital currency and blockchain ecosystems by the cryptocurrency community in India.

In other news from the region, a Steering Committee on Fintech related issues constituted by the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) submitted its final report to the Indian Ministry of Finance on September 2, 2019. The report said that

“Use of digital tokens resolves the issue of multiple currencies, improves liquidity and capital compliance costs, allows for micro-payments and expedites the payment process, which further eliminates liquidity risks.”

The authors further described Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) as an innovative way of capital raising by fintech companies. While the report does not mention cryptocurrency directly, it addressed the matter by mentioning digital payments.

Indian Government’s Cryptocurrency Clampdown

Earlier on June 22, 2019, a report by the Inter-Ministerial committee was released which proposed banning cryptocurrencies in India and making the trade or mining of cryptocurrencies a punishable offense. India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), also issued multiple press releases, where it cautioned users by highlighting the risks of cryptocurrencies. This was followed by an RBI circular in April 2018 that prohibited Indian banks and financial entities from dealing with or providing services to individuals and businesses involved in the cryptocurrency market.

The banking ban proved to be a huge blow to the Indian cryptocurrency industry, forcing many of the country’s biggest exchanges to shut down. Trading volumes also fell sharply in the aftermath of the ban. The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) recently challenged the RBI circular.

Meanwhile, the Indian Supreme Court is continuing its hearing on the petition opposing RBI’s cryptocurrency ban. The next hearing in the apex court is scheduled to take place on September 25, 2019.

Do you believe that the Indian Supreme Court will rule in favor of cryptocurrency proponents and reverse the RBI’s decision? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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