As of late, most news coming out of the crypto space seems to be good news. New investors are coming on board and the markets have seen strengthening fundamentals and technicals. But there is something brewing in India that threatens to take the market backward, seemingly following in the footsteps of China’s on-again, off-again policies.
Bloomberg reported that India is on the brink of banning cryptocurrency trading in the country. There is a bill reportedly in the works that is making its way to parliament. Similar to China, India, is not closing the door on blockchain innovation and will embrace the technology, but trading of digital currencies could be on the chopping block.
India’s Roller Coaster Ride
It’s not the first time that India, Asia’s third-biggest economy, has sent the local crypto industry reeling. In 2018, the Reserve Bank of India flat-out banned cryptocurrency transactions, which couldn’t have come at a worse time.
The decision came on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to ban some of the most popular banknotes in the country with little warning, leaving people scrambling.
Two years ago, cryptocurrency exchanges and industry bodies banded together, filing a complaint against the central bank’s crypto ruling, and it paid off. In March 2020, a Supreme Court decision went their way, overturning the central bank’s curbs and putting the wind back in the sails of the crypto community.
Now that they will be faced with a similar struggle once again, it remains to be seen how the exchanges will respond. BeInCrypto reached out to India-based cryptocurrency exchange WazirX and will update this article if we receive a response. Meanwhile, the bad news has spread quickly.
More than half of India’s population is without bank accounts, while approximately 25% of them don’t have any ID to open one, according to “Mastering Bitcoin” author Andreas M. Antonopoulos at a Coinscrum event.
At the time, he referred to the financial situation in India as a “natural disaster” that wasn’t natural at all but instead was man-made. He called it a disaster that that would continue to unfold over the long-term.
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
In the U.S., the crypto industry finally has some regulator winds at its back. The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) announced on Sept. 15 that payments companies including crypto firms can operate under a streamlined licensing system that will make it easier for them to grow across the country.
The new system, which is dubbed MSB Networked Supervision, is comprised of “a single comprehensive exam to satisfy all state regulatory requirements,” according to the announcement.
It replaces individual state exams that payments companies need for licensing. Nearly 80 companies are eligible for the new program, which in addition to crypto firms includes other payment providers that together are responsible for moving more than $1 trillion annually.