India is trying to regulate cryptocurrencies — but not everyone is on board, including the RBI governor

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India is trying to regulate cryptocurrencies — but not everyone is on board, including the RBI governor
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  • RBI governor Shaktikanta Das has been one of the most vocal opposers of crypto in India.
  • Das said that the central bank has major concerns about cryptocurrencies and how it might affect the country’s financial stability.
  • 80% of India’s crypto accounts are worth ₹1000 to ₹2000, according to him.
The governor of India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Shaktikanta Das, isn’t a fan of cryptocurrencies. And, he’s making no secret of it. He once again recommended caution amid voicing his concerns about the proliferation of crypto in India.

“I would only like to say that when the RBI as the central bank of the country, which is entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining financial stability, after due internal deliberation says that there are serious concerns on macro-economic and financial stability, there are deeper issues. I’m yet to see serious, well-informed discussion in the public space on these issues,” he said while speaking at an online event by the State Bank of India (SBI).

Das’ comments came less than a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting on cryptocurrency regulation in India, which was followed by another Parliamentary Committee meeting with crypto exchanges and stakeholders. However, this isn’t the first time the central bank chief has voiced his concerns about cryptocurrencies.

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India’s central bank isn’t on board with the cryptocurrency hype



Last week, Das said that cryptocurrencies are a “serious concern” for India’s central bank. “The government is actively looking at the issue and will decide on it. But as the central banker, we have serious concerns about it, and we have flagged it many times,” he said, while speaking at a conference organised by Business Standard.

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At the SBI conference, Das said that 80% of crypto accounts in India are small accounts, worth ₹1,000 and ₹2,000, which puts into perspective the burgeoning numbers of crypto users in the country, shared by some reports. Nishcal Shetty, founder of WazirX had earlier said that the country has about two crore crypto users.

Das’ commentary on cryptocurrencies has been in stark contrast to the general growth of both crypto and the decentralized finance (DeFi) space in India. The country has generated two unicorns — Coinswitch and CoinDCX — in the short span of less than six months, while the native token of WazirX, called WRX, had hit a billion dollar valuation back in March this year.

“Cryptocurrencies are a serious concern to RBI from a macroeconomic and financial stability standpoint. The government is actively looking at the issue and will decide on it. But as the central banker, we have serious concerns about it and we have flagged it many times," Das said at an event on November 9.

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Das isn’t the only voice against the industry either. “The question is, how do you legalize 8,000-9,000 headless chickens running around the internet? Legalising cryptocurrencies would be like legalising trolls on social media," a person from the Parliamentary Committee, which met with crypto stakeholders earlier this week, told Mint.

The Indian government has been working on regulations on cryptocurrency for over two years now. The RBI had imposed a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies in India back in 2018, which was struck down by the country’s Supreme Court last year. Since then, India has amassed crores of new users. A crypto bill is expected to be tabled during the Winter session of the Parliament, though stakeholders have said that it’s unclear whether the government will take more time.

For a more in-depth discussion, come on over to Business Insider Cryptosphere — a forum where users can deep dive into all things crypto, engage in interesting discussions and stay ahead of the curve.

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