The Supreme Court of India has ruled against a decision imposed by the country’s central bank nearly two years ago that curbed crypto trading in Asia’s third-largest economy.
According to a report from Bloomberg, a three-judge bench of the court ruled on Wednesday in favor of petitions by crypto exchanges and startups that opposed the decision made by the Reserve Bank of India in April 2018, which banned domestic financial institutions from providing banking services to crypto exchanges.
The central bank’s decision at the time forced crypto exchanges in the country to either relocate to other jurisdictions or shift the business model from fiat-to-crypto to crypto-to-crypto and over-the-counter trading.
While crypto exchanges immediately filed petitions to the Supreme Court after the central bank’s decision in 2018, a clear decision had not been reached until Wednesday after several rounds of hearings. Some exchange also chose to close down their businesses while the case was ongoing.
“The uplifting of the ban by Supreme Court is going to open new opportunities for India in terms of investments, economy, and a market as a whole,” said Sumit Gupta, founder and CEO of exchange aggregator CoinDCX. “As few of the surviving petitioners of the case, we are thankful to the Supreme Court for hearing our side of the story. We have always seen crypto as a potential to unlock India’s dream of becoming a $5 trillion economy.”
Tanvi Ratna, CEO and founder of Policy 4.0, which works on crypto policymaking in India, wrote in a pre-verdict analysis on Tuesday that the win would mean for “a resurgence of liquidity and resumption of activity with exchanges and other startups” for the ecosystem
“It would indeed, be a big victory, for an ecosystem of innovators long striving for survival,” she said.
But she also cautioned that the verdict could still be a “short-term respite” since the verdict against the RBI “does not directly impact actions on the policy level.”
“What is logical to conclude is that if the verdict goes against the actions of the central bank, there might be re-thinking on the issue within our financial policymakers. There is no guarantee this will happen though, especially if the verdict only address the question of regulatory overreach of the RBI, and leaves sufficient leeway for policymakers to decide upon the treatment of cryptocurrencies,” she wrote.
Omkar Godbole contributed to reporting.
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