India revisits crypto ban
Asia & Australia,  Commentary,  Cryptocurrencies,  Politics,  Regulation

India May Ban Cryptocurrency Payments

The threat of decentralization scares the country’s central bank

India’s Parliament is soon to enter winter session, and many legislators are pushing for the banning of cryptocurrency as a form of payment, but Indian investors could still buy and sell it as an asset. The government is also currently working on a bill that would ban advertising by crypto firms within the country. This would include any platform or exchange on which you could buy or sell cryptocurrency. The Reserve Bank of India, the central bank of the country, is aiding in pushing much of this crypto reform.. They have held numerous closed door meetings in the past few weeks with the government about how to address this issue. 

The RBI has so much economic influence within the confines of India that the government is practically at their whim; they have a heavy say on almost any financial legislation that goes through the Parliament. The country is currently working towards finding a way to regulate cryptocurrency but is facing several challenges. Because different exchanges are listing different prices, it’s hard for them to find a median. The central tenet of crypto is that no government will be able to control or regulate it, and yet the Indian government is trying to do exactly that.

While many members of India’s government call for some form of regulation, the RBI wants to flat out ban it. This is an extreme overreaction, and would detrimentally damage India’s rapidly developing economy in the years to come. The chances of it happening are slim to none, but the country needs to change their stance soon in order to fully benefit from this industry. Other countries like El Salvador have wholly embraced Bitcoin, and have seen economic benefits from doing so, and the United States has a Bitcoin Futures ETF. That isn’t to say the United States doesn’t also have its fair share of legislative issues in regards to cryptocurrency, but there isn’t a national bank trying to ban the entire thing. 

The widespread adoption of blockchain technology and payment systems continues to grow worldwide. It’s only a matter of time until people begin to realize that a lot of the banks they trust don’t really care about them at all, but instead only want their money. Proof-of-stake technology allows for the holders of the currency on the blockchain to make the important decisions, instead of a big centralized bank run by billionaires. This scares big organizations like the RBI, and this is why they continue to push for this harsh legislation. 

Regardless of what the country does, people will find a way to continue to trade and spend crypto payments within the confines of their borders. India’s course of action is yet to be determined, but it could set the tone for how other countries in the area treat cryptocurrency in the coming years as well. 

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Elijah Pollack is editor-in-chief of Modern Consensus. He has previously co-hosted the Audible podcast Extra Credit. Elijah has published work in the past for Book and Film Globe and The Observer.