India Extends its Cryptocurrency Crackdown

India really is laying down the law with its growing cryptocurrency ban.

India, the world’s largest democracy, has extended its crackdown on the cryptocurrency industry, according to new reports and insiders within the country. India has been pursuing stringent regulations against the blockchain industry all year, but within the past few months this effort has intensified. The blockchain industry now can best be described as “crumbling” — and the regulatory ambiguity in the country seems set to continue this decline, putting India as effectively one of the least crypto-friendly countries in the world.

Just today, the Hindu BusinessLine reported that the president of Indian nonprofit trade organization, NASSCOM, came out publicly to denounce cryptocurrencies, calling them “illegal.” Debjani Ghosh did not elaborate on whether or not it was right that cryptocurrencies were illegal, she merely reiterated the current legal situation. However, she did place blame on startups in the digital industry, who like to “experiment” and “do not know right from wrong.” She, like many other industry giants within India, expect that the blockchain space will get more regulated, not less. This poses a severe problem for the cryptocurrency space: we just don’t know how far this will go.

Ghosh is the president of NASSCOM, a nonprofit trade association with some 2,000 member companies. They are mainly responsible for Indian IT and business process outsourcing.

The latest victim in this crackdown is a company called Unocoin which was responsible for setting up India’s first Bitcoin ATMs in the city of Bangalore. Unocoin also runs their own cryptocurrency exchange. Unocoin’s co-founder and chief technology officer was subsequently arrested this past Tuesday while tending to the ATM, according to the report. The arrest entailed the seizure of the ATM, two laptops, passports, and bank information.

Unocoin, however, is one of the few exchanges that survived a ban from the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central banking authority.

Unocoin’s other co-founder came out with a statement following the arrest saying:

“The [Finance] Minister’s statement was clear: cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in India. He did not say ‘illegal tender’. There’s a huge difference. It means you bear the risk of your investment and there’s no regulation for the industry.”

India Not Open for Cryptocurrency-Related Business

Ever since July, India has been increasingly hostile to the cryptocurrency space. It was then that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) banned all the country’s banks from doing business with anything having to do with digital assets. Risks to financial stability and investments were cited as the reason.

The ban has been upheld by the Indian courts numerous time now, but cryptocurrencies have not been formally banned. Only banking activities with cryptocurrencies are currently banned. This has created a regulatory ambiguity that has so many people in the blockchain industry scratching their ends.

One of the victim’s of this crackdown was Zebpay, formally India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, which permanently shut its doors last month. Zebpay is one of the numerous exchanges which have been forced to cease operations.

In an effort to resolve this legal ambiguity, the Indian Supreme Court has asked the Centre to give its official view on cryptocurrencies within two weeks. The court was pressured by a large number of petitions received in the past few months. Most of the petitions have been about challenging the ban enacted by the RBI. Currently, there is no formal ban on the trade between cryptocurrencies, but some of the more prominent figures within the Indian cryptocurrency community have been hit with unfair scrutiny.

Nakul Dewan, a counsel for nine cryptocurrency exchanges, highlighted the frustration many were feeling in the country in a public comment. Frankly, the regulatory ambiguity might set the country back enough where it may lose the edge it globally once had in the blockchain space. Dewan said that, although cryptocurrencies were banned in nine countries worldwide, most jurisdictions in China, Europe, and especially the United States still allow it. He put it frankly, “we have got employees. There are jobs… “ and that they can’t just let this fester. The government “must give finality on this issue.”

The Reserve Bank of India has been putting out notices on the cryptocurrency space for years now. However, their current crippling policy has shuttered a once-booming domestic cryptocurrency space. The central bank even went as far as implying that the original ban was not given much thought, coming into effect “arbitrarily.” Inundated with a slew of petitions, however, it seems that the Supreme Court of India will soon have to produce a consistent legal opinion. It seems clear though that, as of now, India is definitely not open for crypto-business.


  1. I’ve been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never discovered any interesting article like yours.

    It is lovely price sufficient for me. Personally, if
    all site owners and bloggers made good content as you probably did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  2. First off I want to say wonderful blog! I had a quick
    question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was
    curious to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts
    prior to writing. I’ve had a difficult time clearing
    my thoughts in getting my ideas out. I do take pleasure
    in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted simply just trying to figure out
    how to begin. Any ideas or tips? Thanks!

  3. Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking a few minutes and
    actual effort to produce a good article… but what can I say…
    I put things off a whole lot and never manage to get anything done.

  4. Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed!
    Extremely helpful info specifically the last part 🙂 I care for
    such information a lot. I was looking for this certain information for a very long time.

    Thank you and best of luck.

  5. First off I would like to say superb blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing.
    I have had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.
    I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just
    seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost
    just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions
    or tips? Thanks!

  6. Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested to see if it
    can survive a twenty five foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views.
    I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!
    scoliosis surgery scoliosis surgery

  7. Hey there I am so excited I found your weblog, I really found you by mistake, while I was
    researching on Aol for something else, Anyways I am here now and
    would just like to say thank you for a tremendous post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love
    the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it
    all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also added in your
    RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the excellent
    job. quest bars quest bars

  8. You really make it appear so easy with your presentation but I to find this matter to
    be really something that I think I might by no means understand.

    It sort of feels too complex and extremely broad for me.
    I’m having a look forward in your subsequent put up,
    I will attempt to get the hold of it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *