In April 2018 the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ordered banks e-wallets, and payment gateway providers to withdraw support for cryptocurrency exchanges and other businesses dealing with it.
More than 18 months have passed, the central bank stance remains the same on privately held cryptocurrency. While it continues to be against any private digital currency mainly because of challenges concerning money laundering, the RBI is planning to develop India’s own digital currency.
Though, the apex banking body did not reveal the deadline for the same as it is at an early stage.
“As and when the technology evolves, with certain safeguards, it is an area the reserve bank will look seriously at an appropriate time. It is still at an incipient stage,” said Shaktikanta Das, RBI governor at the Monetary Policy Committee press conference.
The central bank has had several internal discussions and consultations with other central banks on the possibility of launching India’s own digital currency.
Holding currency issuance as a sovereign mandate, Das’s emphasised to continue with the imposed ban will serve as a setback for private firms experimenting with digital currency. Among many global firms, Facebook and JP Morgan Chase, have been working on the digital currency intending to gain a foothold in the Indian market.
The development has come at a time when all the central banks are racing to launch sovereign digital currencies.
Last month, China had announced its digital currency named ‘yuan’. Many other countries constituting France, Singapore, and Malaysia are also is news to be testing similar government-controlled digital currencies.
In August, the Supreme court had pushed RBI over its handling of a cryptocurrency business ban and had further ordered it to address complaints.