The blockchain boom took the world by storm ever since the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was launched way back in 2009. Since then, the blockchain based digital asset has gone on to become one of the hot favourite topics across the globe, especially among investors of all types.
However, the road for cryptocurrencies in India has been quite bumpy as the government has been skeptical about digital assets. The government’s attitude towards cryptocurrencies has been changing from time to time. In April of 2018, the Reserve Bank of India released a circular prohibiting commercial banks from providing services to businesses and transactions related to cryptocurrencies or related activities. Following this, all banks in the country stopped serving crypto companies and exchanges from July, which led several crypto exchanges to stall their operations completely.
The government has established a committee to decide crypto regulations, which are due for submission in the coming months, as the government recently confirmed that the regulations for cryptocurrency are in final stages. However, the circular by RBI is still in force which has made business operations of the digital asset companies quite difficult.
However, amid all this fuss, Bangalore-based community firm Blockchained India has taken an initiative to bring all crypto enthusiasts on a platform to raise their voice in solidarity with digital currencies.
More recently, Blockchained India organised roadshows inviting people to join the crypto movement and share their opinions on the regulations for the cryptocurrencies. The theme for intended public meetings is “Does India need cryptocurrency regulations?” These roadshows were to be conducted in four cities namely Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore, the first one was conducted in Mumbai on 10th March. Reportedly, it involved about 100 crypto enthusiasts and 70 to 80 industry stalwarts including crypto exchange founders, investors, lawyers and other stakeholders.
Co-founder of Bloclchained India, Akshay Aggarwal tweeted on Friday, “The intentions with this roadshow are pure. We want to help the good folks hustling day and night from the crypto space.” Agarwal has requested the community to join the roadshows and raise their voices and opinions on the cryptocurrency regulations. Blockchained India will collect all the recommendations and opinions of the participants, and other recommendations received through emails and messages online, and submit them before the government, after the last roadshow to be conducted in Bangalore on 30.
Similar initiatives have been taking place throughout the country for a very long time. The crypto community is already fighting in the Supreme Court of India to set aside the RBI circular which has made the situation difficult for survival. On February 25, the Supreme Court had ordered the government to submit its draft on proposed regulations in four weeks’ time.
Governments across the globe are either planning to regulate the crypto market and exchanges or have already done it. The need for regulating the decentralized asset arose due to the growing instances of fraudulent activities taking place on crypto exchanges. Even countries which held back moves to regulate are now compelled to take action as early as possible. For instance, Canada had held back from regulating crypto exchanges, however, the recent QuadrigaCX Exchange Scandal has compelled the government to lay down a formidable framework for the industry to avoid future incidents.
The Indian agencies have been hostile towards digital assets predominantly. Initially, a government-appointed committee had suggested a complete ban on the use and trade of cryptocurrencies, which was later turned down by the Supreme Court of India in a petition by crypto exchanges. Following the order, the government formulated another committee which is now deciding regulations for the crypto space.