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BY CNA team - October 27, 2018

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Indian government’s crypto stance needed

India’s supreme court requests that New Delhi states its stance on cryptocurrencies in two weeks
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India’s supreme court is asking New Delhi to state its official stance on cryptocurrencies within two weeks.

According to the Economic Times, the country’s apex court has asked for the government’s position on cryptocurrencies after hearing a bunch of petitions filed by cryptocurrency exchanges challenging the April 6 Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) ban on financial institutions offering services to them.

The ban has been in effect since July 6 when all transactions involving crypto-related businesses and banks stopped after an earlier petition to remove the ban failed.

The ban is specific to fiat-to-crypto transactions whereas it does not affect crypto-to-crypto transactions but the cost has been heavy for crypto-related businesses, with Zebpay, an Ahmedabad-based exchange shutting down all activities.

Also, senior executives of Unocoin, another exchange, were arrested recently by police for setting up an unauthorised crypto auto teller machine in Bangalore.

The counsel for the nine exchanges that were brought together for a class-action lawsuit, Nakul Dewan, says the ban has stopped all trade and exchange of bitcoins despite there being no ban on trade or exchange of cryptocurrencies.

He says the government must give some finality to the issue. “We have got employees. There are jobs,” Dewan says, adding that the issue has been lingering on since May.

The RBI’s counsel, Shyam Divan, says the move to discourage the use of cryptos is essentially a policy decision and that the government must make its stance known.

An update from the supreme court showed that the next hearing on the matter will be held on Nov 20.

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