India’s Reserve Bank denied the creation of a new internal unit which was dedicated to cryptocurrency, blockchain, as well as artificial intelligence (AI) research.
In August of this year, the most popular financial daily of India, The Economic Times, reported that the Reserve Bank of India or RBI had formed a new unit for researching and even for regulating disruptive technologies such as blockchain. The report claimed that the unit was operational for a month at that time, after citing two anonymous sources which were aware of the developments at the central bank.
RBI claimed there was no crypto-focused unit
But, in clear denial of the report, the RBI refuted the claim altogether by revealing that there was no crypto-focused formal unit within the central bank. The central bank was reacting to a right to information or query by Naimish Sanghvi, who is the one that runs the industry publication of India known as Coin Crunch.
This, despite the revealing of RBI within days from the original ET report in August that it had formed an inter-departmental group in order to study, as well as provide guidance on the feasibility to introduce a central bank digital currency or CBDC, in its Annual Report 2017-2018.
The PM of India calls for the rapid adoption of decentralized technology
Earlier in last year, the own research arm of RBI has published a white paper on the merits of blockchain technology for the banking, as well as financial sector domestically. In it, the Institute for Development & Research in Banking Technology or IDRBT of the central bank, which is the foremost banking research institute of the country, concluded that blockchain technology had matured enough to power the digitization of the fiat currency of India, the rupee.
The embracive stance toward the technology of blockchain was further underlined by the prime minister of India, named Narendra Modi, who is also the most powerful official in Indian public office, who is now calling for rapid adaptation of the decentralized technology in a speech earlier in 2018.
Shuttering of Zebpay, one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the country
While pro-blockchain, the authorities of India continue adopting a hostile stance toward decentralized, as well as public cryptocurrencies. In April 2018, the RBI issued a nation-wide circular mandating which said that all regulated financial institutions, which include banks, to cease providing services to businesses in the cryptocurrency sector. The move was dampened robust trading volumes in the country. Last week, the banking ban was telling effect has resulted in the shuttering of Zebpay, which is one of the biggest Indian crypto exchanges.
On Friday, the 28th of September, Zebpay said that the curb on bank accounts has crippled their ability, as well as the ability of their customers to transact business meaningfully. At this point, they said that they are unable to find a reasonable way to conduct the crypto exchange business.