RBI Ban Hearing Delayed – Indian Supreme Court Too Busy for Crypto This Week

RBI Ban Hearing Delayed - Indian Supreme Court Too Busy for Crypto This Week

All petitions against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are supposed to have been heard by the country’s supreme court on September 11. However, the court has been busy every day this week and has postponed the RBI ban hearing.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

RBI Ban Hearing Postponed

RBI Ban Hearing Delayed - Indian Supreme Court Too Busy for Crypto This WeekThe Supreme Court of India was supposed to hear all petitions regarding the crypto banking ban by the country’s central bank on Tuesday, September 11. The RBI issued a circular banning all regulated financial institutions from providing services to crypto businesses on April 6.

As all eyes in the Indian crypto community were on the court to see if the RBI ban will be stayed, the supreme court adjourned on Tuesday without hearing the crypto case due to other cases running over time. The case was again postponed for the same reason on Wednesday and Thursday.

Furthermore, Nischal Shetty, the CEO of crypto exchange Wazirx, told news.Bitcoin.com that “It wasn’t scheduled for today [Friday] after yesterday’s delay.” Crypto Kanoon, a news and analysis platform, tweeted on Thursday:

As the arguments will continue for long in another matter, the court has adjourned all other matters including crypto matter. Matter is now likely to be listed on Tuesday [September 18].

Indian Association Tries to Get Attention of the Court

RBI Ban Hearing Delayed - Indian Supreme Court Too Busy for Crypto This WeekAmong the petitions against the RBI ban was one submitted by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The non-profit organization filed its petition in May, which was heard on July 3 and July 20, before it was postponed to September 11.

At both hearings, the court did not grant a stay on the central bank’s ban. The association also tried to educate the RBI by filing a representation explaining how blockchain and cryptocurrency work. However, their effort did not sway the central bank.

RBI Ban Hearing Delayed - Indian Supreme Court Too Busy for Crypto This WeekOn September 12, Crypto Kanoon tweeted, “As per our internal sources, IAMAI is going to mention the crypto matter at 10:30 before Court No. 9 for seeking adjournment for the purpose of filing rejoinder to the counter affidavit recently filed by one of the respondents.” The platform soon tweeted further, “The court has declined to entertain the mentioning done by IAMAI for adjournment.”

Confusion Over the RBI Affidavit

On Tuesday, September 11, CNN News18 reported that the central bank had filed an affidavit with the supreme court. The news outlet wrote:

RBI files affidavit in top court against cryptocurrency and says that it can’t recognize bitcoins under the current legal regime as virtual currencies are neither money nor currency, can’t even be considered as a valid payment system.

RBI Ban Hearing Delayed - Indian Supreme Court Too Busy for Crypto This WeekCiting this report, Indiabits, which represents a community of blockchain enthusiasts, tweeted, “supreme court to hear affidavit filed by RBI on the matter on September 17th.” It also pointed out that, based on publicly available information on the supreme court website, RBI filed a counter affidavit on September 8, with a “computer generated date” for the hearing listed as September 17.

However, disputing the above information, Crypto Kanoon claims that this RBI affidavit was the same one filed in May, which they reported on at the time, adding that the “supreme court nvr [never] posted crypto matter on 17th Sep.”

Nonetheless, the crypto community will be watching the supreme court next week to see if the crypto case will eventually be heard. Shetty shared with news.Bitcoin.com:

The case has been postponed to monday…So let’s see what happens Monday.

What do you think of the supreme court repeatedly delaying the crypto case hearing? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, IAMAI, and the RBI.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post RBI Ban Hearing Delayed – Indian Supreme Court Too Busy for Crypto This Week appeared first on Bitcoin News.

RBI Ban Hearing in Two Days – What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are Expecting

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are Expecting

The Indian supreme court will hear all petitions against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday. News.Bitcoin.com talked to the CEOs of several Indian exchanges to find out what they are expecting from the hearing, trader sentiment, their exchanges’ current trading volumes, and how they see the court’s ruling affecting the crypto community.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

The Beginning of the Journey

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are ExpectingAll eyes in the Indian crypto community are on the supreme court (SC) hearing on Tuesday, September 11, when all petitions related to the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be heard. The country’s central bank issued a circular on April 6, banning banks from providing services to crypto businesses.

In response to the ban, a number of crypto exchanges operating in India have come up with methods to allow users to continue to deposit and withdraw Indian rupees. Among them are Wazirx, Instashift, and Coindcx exchanges which offer services based on the exchange-escrowed peer-to-peer (P2P) model.

Wazirx’s CEO, Nischal Shetty, shared with news.Bitcoin.com:

The SC hearing is not the end of the road but the beginning of the crypto journey in India…If the outcome is positive then it will definitely boost trading volumes. If the outcome is negative then I don’t think there would be much impact on the existing trading volumes.

Rahul Chitale, CEO of Instashift, told news.Bitcoin.com that “The ruling will surely have some bearing and the SC’s views will shape a lot of the regulatory thinking, but it’s unlikely to have an immediate tactical impact.” Citing that similar regulatory hurdles are seen globally, he described:

Crypto will continue to thrive regardless of the government view, like we have seen worldwide. Any ruling which forces the government to precipitate taking a view on this will only benefit crypto in India in the long run.

Sumit Gupta, CEO of Coindcx, explained to news.Bitcoin.com that “All Indian exchanges and crypto traders are eyeing the SC ruling.” In the long run, however, he believes that “Indian traders will eventually find ways to invest in cryptocurrencies via some innovative channels.” Emphasizing that “a negative ruling will just shift users to P2P trading platforms,” he asserted:

A positive ruling will boost crypto trade in the Indian market like we have seen in Q3 of 2017 and we will see lakhs of new users joining exchange platforms and volumes can shoot up even higher than it was before in the next bullish run.

Trading Volumes Rise Amid RBI Ban

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are ExpectingDespite the banking ban, Shetty revealed that trading has been increasing on Wazirx, largely due to the increase in popularity of the exchange-escrowed P2P service. “Our trading volumes have been growing every week,” he said. “We were pleasantly surprised and overwhelmed by the way users have acclimatised themselves to P2P.”

For Instashift, Chitale described that “since the last set of RBI related developments in the past couple of months, we have continued to see strong 20-25% growth in trading volumes month on month over the last 2 quarters of our operation,” adding:

There is a lot of trader money still parked on the sidelines, and we continue to see a lot of it return back to the market, even in spite of the current downturn in nearly all major coins.

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are ExpectingGupta is also seeing a rise in trading volumes on Coindcx “due to its crypto-crypto nature.” However, he clarified that in general “that’s not the case,” elaborating that “Most of the Indian crypto investors are either hodling or trading rarely and hence the decline in overall volumes across exchanges. We observed that many people are also waiting to hear the SC verdict before they invest as this is also going to move crypto prices in India.”

Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO of one of India’s largest crypto exchanges, Unocoin, recently shared a similar sentiment with news.Bitcoin.com. He revealed that on his exchange, “The volumes have significantly come down as this [RBI’s ban] is not only restricting the new users joining the platform but it is also hurting the sentiments of the present users.” Unocoin currently does not offer P2P trading.

What Exchanges Are Expecting from the Ruling

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are ExpectingRegardless of the outcome of the supreme court’s hearing, “It’s business as usual for us at Instashift,” according to Chitale. He added that “Our users are mostly retail investors who are into it for the long run, and while trading volumes may fluctuate up or down…we don’t see investor demand diminishing in the shorter timeframe.”

Wazirx is also prepared for whichever direction the ruling may take. If a stay order is granted on the RBI ban, “we’ll immediately resume bank deposits and withdrawals for all our users,” Shetty confirmed, emphasizing that, otherwise, Wazirx’s P2P solution “is already working great for all the users in India.” He further detailed:

Crypto has now reached a stage where everyone has started taking it seriously in India and the majority of the young generation sees crypto as a way to invest their money…I’m banking on the SC releasing a directive asking the government to lay out regulations for crypto in India as that would enable every Indian to trade safely in crypto in the future.

RBI Ban Hearing in 2 Days - What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are ExpectingSharing the sentiment, Chitale explained, “We are hopeful that the ruling will cause the government to prioritize its stand and clarity on a number of aspects of crypto,” such as regarding “taxation, classification, resolve any duality in state/center views, and so on.” He reiterated that “In short, this can only lead to clarity. Any clarity will lead to trader and investor confidence thus boosting the overall market.”

Citing that “as an asset class, ‘new money’ into crypto will come on the merit of crypto and other macro factors (like capital controls, taxation etc),” he concluded that “Broadly, we don’t expect trader and retail investor sentiment to diminish in that regard.”

Similarly, Gupta confirmed that Coindcx is “already prepared for the worst and have backup plans no matter which way the ruling swings.” Nonetheless, he said:

We are hopeful and believe that the government’s careful evaluation of the blockchain and cryptocurrency space will bring out a positive ruling that protects the interests of Indian crypto traders and investors. However I strongly feel that this space will eventually get regulated in India and we will see India as one of the global leaders in the blockchain space in the next 3-4 years.

What do you think the supreme court will do and how will the ruling affect the crypto community? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and RBI.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post RBI Ban Hearing in Two Days – What Indian Crypto Exchanges Are Expecting appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Alleged BTC-e Operator’s Lawyer Says Greek Court Decided on Extradition to Russia

Alleged BTC-e Operator’s Lawyer Says Greek Court Decided on Extradition to Russia

The lawyer for the alleged BTC-e exchange operator, Alexander Vinnik, claims that the Greek supreme court has decided to extradite him back to his motherland. If true, this would be a significant blow to US authorities’ attempts to get their hands on Vinnik and extract information from him about Russian hackers.

Also Read: The Daily: Luxury Car Dealership Accepts Bitcoin, Basketballers to Earn Crypto

BTC-e Operator Sent Back to Russia?

Alleged BTC-e Operator’s Lawyer Says Greek Court Decided on Extradition to RussiaThe Supreme Court of Greece has approved the extradition of Alexander Vinnik to Russia at its Tuesday session as he requested, his lawyer Ilias Spirliadis told the Russian news agency TASS. “The court’s ruling will be officially made public on September 14. However, as follows from what the judge said at the session, the decision on Vinnik’s extradition to Russia has been made,” Defense Attorney Spirliadis reportedly said.

American authorities accuse Vinnik of running a $4 billion money laundering operation as the head of BTC-e, as well as masterminding multiple crimes since 2011, including drug trafficking and computer hacking. Russia objects to Vinnik’s extradition to the US on the grounds that it violates international law, and demands he be sent back to face charges there for supposedly stealing 600,000 rubles (about $10,500).

An International Power Struggle

Alleged BTC-e Operator’s Lawyer Says Greek Court Decided on Extradition to RussiaThis case has put the Greek supreme court in the center of an international power struggle between the US and Russia who both demand the extradition of the suspected BTC-e operator. And in June of this year France also requested he will be turned over to its control. “I do not recognize these fake charges. Russia will sort everything out to determine whether or not I am guilty, while France and the US will not be able to do so, as there is no justice there,” Vinnik reportedly said.

As we reported yesterday, a new explanation has recently popped up as to why the US and Russia are each fighting so hard to ensure that Vinnik will be handed them and not the other. Crypto cybersecurity firm Elliptic claims that BTC-e handled some funds linked to ‘Fancy Bear’ – a Russian military intelligence unit that US investigators accuse of hacking Democrats’ emails ahead of the 2016 presidential elections. With much of the American media and political establishment in panic about “Russian meddling” ever since the election of Donald Trump, it is no doubt they will make it a priority to be able to interrogate anyone suspected to have any collaborating information.

Should Vinnik be extradited to Russia or the US? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Alleged BTC-e Operator’s Lawyer Says Greek Court Decided on Extradition to Russia appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Major Indian Bitcoin Exchange Discusses the Aftermath of RBI Ban

Major Indian Bitcoin Exchange Discusses the Aftermath of RBI Ban

It has been about two months since the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) went into effect. News.Bitcoin.com talked to Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO and co-founder of Indian exchange Unocoin, to discuss the aftermath of the central bank’s ban.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

All Eyes on Supreme Court

Major Indian Bitcoin Exchange Discusses the Aftermath of RBI BanThe RBI issued a circular on April 6 banning all financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto businesses. The central bank gave banks three months to exit any existing relationships with companies dealing with cryptocurrencies. A number of industry participants have filed petitions with the country’s supreme court against the ban. The court is set to hear them all on September 11.

Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO and co-founder of Unocoin, one of India’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, told news.Bitcoin.com that after the RBI ban:

The volumes have significantly come down as this is not only restricting the new users joining the platform but it is also hurting the sentiments of the present users. Now everyone in this space is waiting for the apex court comments on Sept 11th.

His Bangalore-based exchange is still growing, albeit at a slower rate than previously. Currently, “We have about 20,000 users coming in on a monthly basis. In the good months, we have seen this kind of number every 3 days,” he shared.

Regulation is the Biggest Challenge

Major Indian Bitcoin Exchange Discusses the Aftermath of RBI BanThe Indian government has been drafting crypto regulation. According to Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, the draft was supposed to be ready in July. However, it has reportedly been delayed until the year’s end.

The central bank has also reportedly set up a new unit for cryptocurrencies, blockchains and artificial intelligence.

Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) sent officials to Japan, the UK, and Switzerland last fiscal year to study cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings from each of the three countries’ financial regulators.

Vishwanath commented:

Regulation has been the biggest challenge followed by sentiments of users. However, the price surge may positively influence the sentiments but the regulation can continue to be a challenge for the time being.

The Popularity of P2P and Crypto-to-Crypto Trading

Since the ban, some local crypto exchanges have come up with their solutions for INR withdrawals. The most popular method to bypass the central bank’s ban is by exchange-escrowed P2P services. News.Bitcoin.com has reported on the rise in popularity of P2P trading in India several times.

Major Indian Bitcoin Exchange Discusses the Aftermath of RBI BanEven the RBI anticipates the shift from trading on regular exchanges to P2P trading. “Developments on this front need to be monitored as some trading may shift from exchanges to peer-to-peer mode, which may also involve increased usage of cash,” the central bank wrote.

As for Unocoin’s likelihood of adding their own P2P solution, Vishwanath revealed that “presently, we do not plan to but we are evaluating.” In May, the exchange launched a crypto-to-crypto platform called Unodax, which now offers 41 trading pairs in multiple base coins. However, he described:

India’s biggest crypto population is not ready for the crypto-to-crypto trading. There is a bigger percentage of users who just buy bitcoin as an investment than trying to earn money through short-term trading.

Meanwhile, another major Indian exchange, Zebpay, announced on September 4 that it will return all users’ Indian rupees on deposit at the exchange. Citing the RBI ban, the exchange wrote, “We have been distressed at the raw deal crypto-traders are getting in India as a result of the banking problems.” Zebpay will begin the refund process on September 5. “While it is not possible for us to speak on behalf of our banks, we intend to return your money to you as soon as possible,” the exchange reiterated.

What do you think of how the RBI’s banking ban affects the crypto industry? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Unocoin.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Major Indian Bitcoin Exchange Discusses the Aftermath of RBI Ban appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Government-Appointed Commission Recognizes Crypto as Means of Payment

Indian Government-Appointed Commission Recognizes Crypto as Means of Payment

The law commission established by the order of the Indian government has issued a report recognizing cryptocurrency as a means of payment. This is reportedly the first time that a body appointed by the government admitted cryptocurrencies have value and can be used in transactions.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Government-Appointed Body Recognizes Crypto

Indian Government-Appointed Commission Recognizes Crypto as Means of PaymentThe Law Commission of India recently published a report on the legal framework for gambling and sports betting in India. The 140-page report explains that gambling is defined as the act of “wagering or betting on games of chance but does not include betting or wagering on games of skill.” Wagering and betting are subsequently defined as “the staking of money or virtual currency [VC], whether or not it is equivalent to a recognized currency.”

The commission was established by the order of the Indian government to advise them on legal reforms. It was asked by the country’s supreme court in July 2016 to examine if betting should be legalized in India.

According to the report:

The issue of online gambling has further been worsened by the rise in popularity and ease of availability of VC, a form of electronic money.

Indian Government-Appointed Commission Recognizes Crypto as Means of PaymentThe commission noted that gambling with cryptocurrencies “pushes even the online gambling market underground, and very often, out of the reach of the law enforcement authorities.”

While proposing that “stringent law(s) should be put in place to control foreign direct investment and at the same time, to prevent money laundering, while also implementing necessary tax reforms,” the commission wrote in the report’s conclusions and recommendations section:

Similar restrictions should also be prescribed for the purpose of the amount one would be allowed to stake while using electronic money facilities of the likes of credit cards, debit cards, net-banking, VCs, etc.

The report additionally states that “gambling transactions should be made cashless, making use of electronic means of payment such as credit cards, debit cards, net-banking, virtual currencies (VC – also known as cryptocurrency), etc.”

Implication of the Law Commission’s Report

Indian Government-Appointed Commission Recognizes Crypto as Means of PaymentThe report also cites the April 6 circular issued by the Indian central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), banning banks from providing services to crypto businesses.

Last week, the Indian supreme court heard some petitions relating to crypto regulation and the RBI ban. While the crypto community was hopeful that the court would hear all the petitions and perhaps even grant a temporary stay on the RBI ban, the court reportedly did not hear all the cases and proceeded to set the final hearing date to September 11, allowing time for RBI and other regulators involved to respond to the petition.

Commenting on the law commission’s proposal, Nischal Shetty, CEO of crypto exchange Wazirx, told Quartz:

It is the first time that a body appointed by the government has given recognition to virtual currencies that they have value and can be used for a transaction … Therefore, it is a very positive sign, especially considering the report has come out after a lot of deliberation.

Tuhina Joshi, an associate at legal firm TRA Law which represents several crypto exchanges, was quoted by the publication, “the law commission recommends that regulating gambling is preferable to an outright ban. This is the same argument we are making in context of cryptocurrencies.”

What do you think of the law commission’s proposal? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Government-Appointed Commission Recognizes Crypto as Means of Payment appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Crypto Regulation Ready by September: Official

Indian Crypto Regulation Ready by September: Official

The Indian government is expected to issue detailed cryptocurrency guidelines by September, a senior official from the country’s Ministry of Finance reportedly said. Consultations with all stakeholders including the central bank have already begun. This announcement is independent of the supreme court’s hearing of petitions relating to crypto regulation in India.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Regulation Expected by September

The Indian government has reportedly finished drafting the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. The New Indian Express wrote on Saturday that the government is “likely to issue guidelines on cryptocurrency by September.”

Indian Crypto Regulation Ready by September: Official
Subhash Garg.

This news follows the statement last month by the country’s Economic Affairs Secretary, Subhash Garg, confirming that the draft law would be ready by mid-July.

Citing that stakeholders include the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), an unnamed senior official from the Ministry of Finance told the news outlet:

The draft is ready and consultation is on with all the stakeholders…before coming up with the final paper. We expect it to be ready by September.

“The ministry has constituted an interdisciplinary committee under the chairmanship of Special Secretary (Economic Affairs) to examine the regulatory framework regarding virtual currency,” the publication detailed. “SEBI and RBI have expressed some reservations regarding clauses in the initial draft.”

How Should Crypto be Regulated?

The unnamed senior official was quoted by the New Indian Express, “Cryptocurrency is a new phenomenon and naturally, governments across the globe are struggling with it.” He further detailed, “Most of the officials have serious reservations against it, which all of us agree with … we want to arrive at a common conclusion. There must be an appropriate mechanism to regulate the same.”

Indian Crypto Regulation Ready by September: Official

While the regulators have not confirmed how cryptocurrency will be regulated, Quartz reported that a senior government official familiar with the matter indicated it could be regulated as a commodity. “I don’t think anyone is really thinking of banning it (cryptocurrencies) altogether. The issue here is about regulating the trade and we need to know where the money is coming from. Allowing it as (a) commodity may let us better regulate trade and so that is being looked at,” the publication quoted him saying on July 11.

He explained that cryptocurrency “trade is not a criminal offence,” describing:

What has to be in place is a mechanism to be sure that the money used is not illegal money, and to track its source is the most important thing.

Supreme Court Hearing Also in September

Indian Crypto Regulation Ready by September: OfficialThe Supreme Court of India on July 20 set the final hearing date for all petitions relating to cryptocurrency regulations to September 11. The hearing is in response to the circular issued by RBI on April 6 banning banks and all financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto companies.

Many industry participants have petitioned against the ban. The IAMAI successfully convinced the supreme court to hear its petition on July 3. However, the court did not grant a stay and the ban went into effect on July 5. Banks subsequently closed the accounts of most crypto exchanges.

Judgement Day

The supreme court was supposed to hear all of the petitions relating to crypto on July 20. However, since some government bodies such as SEBI have not provided a response, the news outlet noted:

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra acceded to the request made by the petitioners and the matter has been listed for final disposal on September 11.

At the hearing on Friday, the IAMAI was represented by Advocate Gopal Subramanium while Advocate Shyam Divan appeared for RBI. Divan “informed the court that allowing dealings in cryptocurrencies will encourage illegal transactions,” the publication conveyed, adding that he clarified the central bank’s policy is of “extreme caution.”

How do you think India will regulate cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Linkedin.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Crypto Regulation Ready by September: Official appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Central Bank Makes a Case Before Supreme Court Against Allowing Crypto Use

Indian Central Bank Makes a Case Before Supreme Court Against Allowing Crypto Use

India’s central bank told the country’s supreme court on Friday that “allowing dealings in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin would encourage illegal transactions.” Other crypto petitions being heard include one asking the government to “take emergency steps to restrain the sale and purchase of illegal cryptocurrencies.”

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

RBI’s Argument

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, appeared before the supreme court Friday to defend its position regarding cryptocurrencies. RBI issued a circular on April 6 banning financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto companies.

According to the Economic Times, the central bank told the court:

Allowing dealings in cryptocurrencies like bitcoins would encourage illegal transactions and it has already issued a circular prohibiting use of these virtual currencies.

Indian Central Bank Makes a Case Before Supreme Court Against Allowing Crypto UseRBI explained that crypto is “a stateless digital currency” that operates independently of a central bank such as itself, thereby “rendering it immune from government interference,” the news outlet noted.

The Financial Express elaborated that the central bank believes “it is necessary to regulate the bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to check illegal transactions which will impact the international flow of funds.” Senior counsel Shyam Divan, appearing for RBI, reiterated that the central bank has a particular stance and other departments may have other positions.

Petitions Being Heard

Petitions against the RBI crypto banking ban are not the only ones that the supreme court is hearing. The Economic Times described:

Some petitions challenged the use of virtual currencies and alleged that they posed grave dangers to the traditional economy and they also sought framing of guidelines to regulate them … They also sought a direction for the Centre to take emergency steps to restrain the sale and purchase of illegal cryptocurrencies.

Indian Central Bank Makes a Case Before Supreme Court Against Allowing Crypto UseThe Hindu pointed to one particular petition, filed by father and son Siddharth Dalmia and Vijay Pal Dalmia. “Mr. Dalmia, in his plea, has sought a direction to the Centre to take steps to restrain sale and purchase of illegal cryptocurrencies like bitcoins, which were being traded openly for ‘illegal activities’ like funding terrorism and insurgency,” the publication wrote.

The supreme court already heard the duo’s initial petition in November last year and subsequently issued notices to various government departments including RBI. The central bank responded at the time that it had warned people against the usage and risks associated with crypto. However, the Dalmias were not happy with RBI’s reply and filed a new petition, pointing out the inadequate action by the central bank.

At the hearing on Friday, the supreme court gave the government until September 11 to respond to all petitions.

What do you think of RBI’s view and action? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and RBI.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Central Bank Makes a Case Before Supreme Court Against Allowing Crypto Use appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today but RBI Ban Stays

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban Stays

India’s Supreme Court heard the petitions against the crypto banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today. After hearing some arguments from both sides, the court decided to set another hearing date, allowing some of the regulators involved to respond to the petitions.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Supreme Court Hearing on July 20

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban StaysThe long-awaited hearing at which the Supreme Court of India was scheduled to address all of the petitions against the crypto banking ban by the country’s central bank has finally taken place.

Today’s hearing follows the hearing on July 3 of the petition by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The court did not grant a stay against the ban at that time. Last week, the central bank responded to a representation by the association but did not change its stance on crypto.

The latest chapter of the courtroom saga did not see an overturn of the ban. The court also did not hear all arguments by both sides. Crypto Kanoon, a platform engaged in crypto regulatory analysis, legal awareness and news, detailed:

Limited arguments were advanced on behalf of IAMAI and RBI today.

Another Hearing Date Set

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban StaysThere are at least five writ petitions filed against the RBI ban. However, according to Crypto Kanoon, “SEBI [the Securities and Exchange Board of India] and few others have not filed their response to the petition seeking regulation…All (remaining) parties to file their reply within 4 weeks.”

Sohail Merchant, CEO of crypto exchange Pocketbits, commented on the outcome of today’s hearing:

Final hearing [is] slated for 11th of September. Now that is the Judgement Day.

According to lawyers familiar with the case, the central bank has been challenged on two grounds. They concern article 19(1) (g) and article 14 of the Indian constitution. The former “allows citizens to enjoy the right to carry on any occupation, trade, or business,” Quartz explained, adding that the latter “prohibits discrimination and mandates equal protection under the law for all.”

P2P Services Live

In response to the RBI banking ban, a number of crypto exchanges in the country have set up peer-to-peer (P2P) services.

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today But RBI Ban StaysKoinex launched its P2P platform called Loop on July 17. “Loop is a peer-to-peer fiat to crypto trading platform where registered users can trade in cryptos with other registered users in INR,” the exchange described.

“To ensure user safety, a built-in escrow system is employed which releases the cryptocurrency only after the seller double confirms the exact payment of the trade.” According to its website, the service currently offers the buying and selling of BTC, ETH, and XRP without network or transaction fees.

Last week, Wazirx launched its P2P service, also without network or transaction fees. The exchange recently claimed to have 125,000 users on its main platform after operating for four months. Meanwhile, Coindelta is also preparing to launch a P2P service called Flux.

What do you think of the Supreme Court hearing today? Do you think RBI’s ban will eventually be lifted? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petitions Today but RBI Ban Stays appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto Restrictions

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto Restrictions

India’s central bank has responded to a representation about its crypto banking ban. The Supreme Court gave the central bank seven days to reply following a hearing last week of the petition by the Internet & Mobile Association of India against the ban.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

RBI’s Response

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto RestrictionsIndia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has responded to a representation submitted by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), as directed by the country’s Supreme Court.

Nischal Shetty, the CEO of crypto exchange Wazirx, told news.Bitcoin.com that the representation is “a detailed document explaining blockchain, cryptos and how they function,” noting that it was “made with the belief that if the RBI gets a deep understanding of blockchain and crypto then they may go easy on the ban and think about regulations.”

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto RestrictionsThis representation was sent to the central bank on July 3 during the IAMAI petition hearing. The Court ordered the central bank to reply within seven days. On July 11, RBI finally sent its response to the association.

According to Sohail Merchant, the CEO of Indian crypto exchange Pocketbits, RBI’s reply is a “2 page generic response.” While stating that “as of now the response cannot be made public” but there is “not much to read though,” he commented:

IAMAI received the response from RBI as directed by SC [Supreme Court], the response is generic with the same language as the public circulars. They have not even given deliberate thought to the points made by us, all the basis of their arguments is ‘Investor Protection.’

Shetty reiterated, “RBI has responded to IAMAI…They aren’t changing their stand.”

Until Next Hearing on July 20

The central bank issued a circular on April 6 banning all financial institutions under its control from providing services to companies dealing in cryptocurrencies, including crypto exchanges.

Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto RestrictionsRBI gave banks three months to sever their relationships with crypto businesses. As the ban went into effect on July 5, banks began closing accounts of crypto exchanges. One by one, the exchanges stopped supporting fiat deposits and withdrawals.

To bypass banking restrictions, a number of exchanges are launching peer-to-peer (P2P) trading services. Koinex and Coindelta are reportedly launching their P2P services on July 15. Wazirx, on the other hand, already launched its P2P service. The company wrote, “Wazirx P2P goes live today, 10th July at 3PM. With Wazirx P2P, a buyer and seller can buy and sell cryptos for INR directly with each other.”

Meanwhile, industry participants and stakeholders are trying to get the RBI ban lifted by filing petitions with the Supreme Court, which will all be heard on July 20.

Do you think RBI will soon lift the banking ban on crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, IAMAI, and the RBI.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Central Bank Responds About Crypto Restrictions appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petition but Upholds RBI Ban – Effective in 2 Days

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petition but Upholds RBI Ban - Effective in 2 Days

The Indian Supreme Court heard one petition against the crypto banking ban by the country’s central bank today. However, the court did not grant a stay and the ban is set to proceed as planned, prompting crypto exchanges in the country to start implementing their solutions for banking alternatives.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

No Stay Granted by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of India heard one petition against the crypto banking ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday, July 3. This petition is by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) whose members include major crypto exchanges in the country such as Unocoin, Zebpay, and Wazirx.

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petition but Upholds RBI Ban - Effective in 2 DaysThe central bank issued a circular on April 6, banning all financial institutions under its control from servicing cryptocurrency companies. The ban is set to take effect on July 5. A number of industry participants have petitioned against the ban. Other than the petition by IAMAI, there are four other petitions which the Supreme Court will hear on July 20.

Wazirx’s founder and CEO, Nischal Shetty, shared with news.Bitcoin.com after Tuesday’s hearing that the Supreme Court did not grant a stay on RBI’s crypto banking ban. The IAMAI petition will now be heard along with the rest of the petitions on July 20. “All eyes are on the 20th now,” he emphasized, elaborating:

The IAMAI had [also] submitted a representation to the RBI which was a detailed document explaining blockchain, cryptos and how they function. The RBI has said it will respond to that within 7 days….The representation was made with the belief that if the RBI gets a deep understanding of blockchain and crypto then they may go easy on the ban and think about regulations.

RBI’s Ban Effective July 5 – What Will Banks Do?

Prior to Tuesday’s hearing, industry participants were hopeful that the court may grant a stay on the RBI ban. Nonetheless, major crypto exchanges in the country have been trying to find banking alternatives.

Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petition but Upholds RBI Ban - Effective in 2 DaysWazirx is preparing to launch a P2P crypto transfer service to allow its customers to buy and sell crypto through its escrow service, bypassing the RBI ban. Shetty told news.Bitcoin.com that the new service will launch when banks stop providing services to crypto exchanges. He detailed:

If banks stop providing services after July 6th then we’ll need to launch P2P. All eyes are on banks now to see what they will do. Do they wait for the July 20th hearing or do they go ahead and implement the ban on transactions from July 6th onwards?

Crypto exchange Koinex is also preparing to launch their own P2P network called Loop. The exchange has already launched a crypto-to-crypto trading platform, as did Unocoin and Zebpay.

Unocoin’s CEO and co-founder, Sathvik Vishwanath, also told news.Bitcoin.com last week that his exchange is working on banking alternatives. “Due to the RBI’s recent notification on ‘Prohibition on Dealing in Virtual Currencies’, our banking relationships are likely to be disrupted on or before July 5th, 2018. We are in the process of deploying new mechanisms for INR deposits and withdrawals,” his exchange announced.

What do you think of the Supreme Court’s decision today? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Wazirx.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Supreme Court Heard Crypto Petition but Upholds RBI Ban – Effective in 2 Days appeared first on Bitcoin News.

India’s Supreme Court Refuses to Lift Cryptocurrency Banking Ban

In a ruling today, India’s highest court of law refused to grant any temporary respite against the central bank’s ban on banking services to cryptocurrency exchanges. On April 5, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) – the country’s central bank – issued a circular to all regulated financial institutions including banks to prohibit them from … Continued

The post India’s Supreme Court Refuses to Lift Cryptocurrency Banking Ban appeared first on CCN

Indian Crypto Exchanges Launching P2P Trading Services – Bypassing RBI Ban

Indian Crypto Exchanges Launching P2P Trading Services - Bypassing RBI Ban

With the impending banking ban by the Reserve Bank of India, cryptocurrency exchanges in the country are scrambling to find banking alternatives. Two Indian exchanges have announced that they are launching P2P crypto trading services which will allow traders to buy and sell crypto legally even after the central bank’s ban.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Wazirx’s P2P Service

Indian Crypto Exchanges Launching P2P Trading Services - Bypassing RBI BanWith the banking ban by the central bank set to take effect on July 5, Indian crypto exchange Wazirx has been working on a solution for users to buy and sell crypto without needing a banking service.

The exchange announced last week that it is launching a P2P crypto transfer service which it claims to be “the most legal way to buy/sell cryptos in India after the RBI ban”. CEO Nischal Shetty described:

The buyer and seller can deal with each other directly while Wazirx acts as an escrow account for holding the cryptos during the transaction so that neither party cheats the other.

Wazirx releases the crypto to the buyer upon receiving a confirmation from the seller, he noted. “We verify the KYC details of every user before allowing them to trade on Wazirx, and keep a record of each and every transaction that occurs on our exchange.”

Indian Crypto Exchanges Launching P2P Trading Services - Bypassing RBI Ban

Launched in March, Wazirx currently supports the trading of 37 cryptocurrencies against INR and 17 BTC trading pairs.

Speaking to news.Bitcoin.com, Shetty shared, “we have 35 coins listed in just 3 months of launch”. With over 100,000 users currently, he added that his exchange is the “fastest to list those many coins in India in such a short span of time.”

Planning for RBI’s Ban

The P2P trading service will launch once the RBI ban takes effect, Shetty explained. According to the central bank’s circular, the ban prohibiting banks from servicing crypto businesses will commence on July 5.

“We will launch it whenever banks completely stop providing their services to crypto exchanges…tentatively 6th July but we’ll need to wait and watch,” Shetty told news.Bitcoin.com, noting:

People have been worried about how they would convert their fiat (INR) to crypto and vice versa. As soon as we announced P2P there was a big sigh of relief as users in India realized there are alternatives to the ban.

Five known petitions have been filed with the courts against the RBI ban. The supreme court will hear all cases on July 20, except for one petition which was filed by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). This petition will be heard on July 3. “After considering the urgency, the supreme court decided to hear this one out on 3rd which is before the RBI deadline,” Shetty detailed. Wazirx is a member of this association as are some other major crypto exchanges such as Unocoin and Zebpay.

Koinex’s P2P Service

Indian Crypto Exchanges Launching P2P Trading Services - Bypassing RBI BanAnother Indian crypto exchange, Koinex, also announced last week that it is launching Loop, “a peer-to-peer network for digital assets transactions using fiat currency”. The new service will be integrated into the Koinex web platform and the mobile app. Koinex users will automatically have access to it, co-founder Rahul Raj detailed, elaborating:

In conjunction with the crypto/crypto trading corridors on Koinex, the peer-to-peer transaction network will allow all users to exchange their fiat currency into a digital asset and vice versa without compromising on the seamless experience that they are used to.

What do you think of Indian exchanges launching P2P trading? Do you think RBI will find a way to stop this? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wazirx, Koinex, the Economic Times.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Crypto Exchanges Launching P2P Trading Services – Bypassing RBI Ban appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Supreme Court Will Not Reconsider Ross Ulbricht’s Life Sentence

Supreme Court Will Not Reconsider Ross Ulbricht's Life Sentence

On June 28, 2018, the US Supreme Court revealed it would not re-evaluate Ross Ulbricht’s court case and double life sentence tied to his charges of operating the Silk Road marketplace. Ulbricht’s legal team and family were hoping the recent Carpenter Vs. US Supreme Court case would spur court officials to reconsider the Ulbricht’s conviction. However, Supreme Court officials didn’t see eye to eye with this reasoning and denied Ulbricht’s cert petition.

Also read: Troll Slayer: Derek Magill Defends Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash Against Defamation

SCOTUS Denies Ross Ulbricht’s Cert Petition

Just recently, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the Ross Ulbricht case and the convicted Silk Road operator’s cert petition filed with the Supreme Court this past May. According to Ulbricht’s lawyers, out of 200 cases that day, the court justices denied all of them except for the case Carpenter Vs. the US, and Ross Ulbricht’s petition. Lawyers had thought the implications of the Carpenter case, which applies to warrantless cellphone searches, would help Ross’s appeal. Six days ago, the American public learned that the Supreme Court sided with Carpenter’s arguments and ruled law enforcement cannot access cell phone information without a warrant.

Supreme Court Will Not Reconsider Ross Ulbricht's Life Sentence
Ross Ulbricht before he was arrested.

One week later, the Supreme Court came to its decision concerning Ulbricht’s case and decided not to re-evaluate the hearing and sentencing. Of course, the Ulbricht family is not pleased with the decision and in a heartbreaking tweet the organization Freeross.org stated:  

SCOTUS denied Ross Ulbricht cert petition this morning after holding it pending Carpenter. This is a NO on internet privacy and Ross’s case. Devastating. #freeross.    

Furthermore, Lyn Ulbricht, the mother of Ross Ulbricht who has been championing for his freedom since the day he was arrested, made this statement:   

This is devastating news for Ross and our family.

Supreme Court Will Not Reconsider Ross Ulbricht's Life Sentence
Lyn Ulbricht tells the press the family is “devastated” by the decision.

The Surveillance State and Illusionary Freedoms

To many supporters, the denial was an injustice, especially after the Carpenter Vs. the US ruling. Many people believe, alongside Ulbricht’s family and attorneys, that Ulbricht’s fourth amendment and other amendment rights were taken from him. Moreover, a double life sentence for operating a website is considered extremely harsh as many other criminals have received less severe punishments for more heinous crimes.

“It is hard to imagine a better example of the consequences of runaway judicial fact-finding than this case,” explains Ulbricht’s cert petition.  

Petitioner, a young man with no criminal history, was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for drug crimes that do not ordinarily carry that sentence, based substantially on numerous factual findings made by the sentencing judge by a preponderance of the evidence.

Even though activists have lauded the SCOTUS decision towards Carpenter, with Ulbricht’s case there has been an extreme injustice in the eyes of many. It means that there may be laws against law enforcement committing illegal acts like warrantless searches. But unfortunately, when it comes to reality and cases like Ulbricht’s, it further solidifies the feeling that American freedoms are illusionary.

What do you think about the Supreme Court denying Ross Ulbricht’s petition after the Carpenter Vs. US decision? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, and Pixabay.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section. 

The post Supreme Court Will Not Reconsider Ross Ulbricht’s Life Sentence appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Breaking: Supreme Court Denies Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht’s Petition to Review Life Sentence

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied Ross Ulbricht’s petition for writ of certiorari, preventing the Silk Road operator from appealing his life sentence before the high court. The Court on Thursday included Ulbricht v. United States in a list of 19 certiorari denied by the court, apparently bringing Ulbricht’s legal saga to what supporters have … Continued

The post Breaking: Supreme Court Denies Silk Road Founder Ross Ulbricht’s Petition to Review Life Sentence appeared first on CCN

Crypto Exchange Resumes Trading in India Despite Problems with Banks and RBI

Crypto Exchange Resumes Trading in India Despite Problems with Banks and RBI

Cryptocurrency exchange Belfrics has resumed trading operations in India after halting earlier this year due to banks refusing to provide payments solutions to the exchange. Belfrics has also added four more cryptocurrencies to its platform, with 20 more planned for the next six months.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Belfrics Resumes Trading Operations in India

Crypto Exchange Resumes Trading in India Despite Problems with Banks and RBIBelfrics, which claims to be “India’s fastest growing cryptocurrency exchange and blockchain development platforms,” announced on Tuesday that it has resumed trading operations in India. The exchange also said that it has added four new coins to its platform: bitcoin cash (BCH), ether (ETH), ripple (XRP), and litecoin (LTC). Prior to the additions, only BTC trading was available. The company further unveiled its plan to launch 20 new cryptocurrencies in the next 6 months.

Jabeer KM, the COO of Belfrics Group, commented:

India is a key market for us when it comes to crypto trading. With the launch of these new coins we are targeting a base of at least 2,500,000 new traders on our platform by December 2018.

Crypto Exchange Resumes Trading in India Despite Problems with Banks and RBIIn addition, the exchange has also launched “a dedicated app for live order-book trading of various altcoins.” The group’s Chief Innovation Officer, Santhosh Palavesh, explained that “traders can now securely link their assets with our Belfrics wallet…The new app will be available for both Android and iOS users.”

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Belfrics Group operates crypto exchanges in Malaysia, Singapore, Bahrain, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and India. The company has its development center in the Indian city of Bengaluru. Starting this month, traders can also enjoy crypto-to-crypto trading on its platform.

Problems with Banks and RBI Ban

Belfrics halted its crypto exchange operations in India in early January when the banks stopped providing payments solutions to the company, Inc42 described. Praveenkumar Vijayakumar, Belfrics Group’s founder and CEO, told the news outlet at the time that “Many payment service providers (PSP) [in India] have stopped giving services to [crypto] exchanges.”

Crypto Exchange Resumes Trading in India Despite Problems with Banks and RBIIn April, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a circular banning banks and financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto companies. “Before taking this decision, industry participants were not consulted, public debates were not initiated and public opinion polls were not undertaken. Even the findings of the committee were not published,” the CEO told Indian news service Ians. Recently, the central bank admitted that it issued the ban without proper research.

Regarding RBI’s ban, Jabeer KM elaborated in Tuesday’s announcement:

We understand that the RBI has reservations on trading in cryptocurrencies and digital currencies. But we are confident that they will be coming up with their own set of regulations for this industry. From our end, we are making sure that Belfrics Group is ready with multiple options for our Indian customers when crypto trading becomes regularized.

Since the RBI’s circular was issued, crypto industry participants have petitioned with the Supreme Court, challenging the ban. The Supreme Court reportedly agreed to hear the cases on July 3, earlier than the original date of July 20. The RBI ban is supposed to take effect on July 5. Meanwhile, the government plans to wrap up cryptocurrency regulations in the middle of next month.

What do you think of Belfrics resuming trading operations in India despite problems with banks and impending RBI ban? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Belfrics.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Crypto Exchange Resumes Trading in India Despite Problems with Banks and RBI appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Indian Crypto Regulations Ready in July, Official Reveals

Indian Crypto Regulations Ready in July, Official Reveals

If you thought crypto in India was over, you were probably wrong. According to a recent statement by a high-ranking official, the long-awaited regulations are on the way. A draft framework has been prepared, and authorities in Delhi hope to “wrap this up” as early as the first half of next month. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has agreed to review a petition against the RBI ban earlier than expected, resetting the hearing for July 3.  

Also read: Taiwan’s Financial Regulator to Conduct Limited Oversight of Cryptocurrencies

Committee Decides the Fate of Bitcoin in India

The new Indian regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies is likely to be presented in the first half of July, according to a recent statement by Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Finance.

A draft has been put together and will be discussed in the first week of next month, the official said in an interview with the news channel ET Now. Garg, who is heading the committee tasked to determine the future of Bitcoin in India, explained:

We are fairly close to developing a kind of template which we think might be in the best interest of our country. We have prepared a draft which we intend to discuss with the committee members in the first week of July.

The Finance Ministry representative also noted that the committee has made a lot of progress in regards to determining “what part of business should be banned, what should be preserved, and what not.” In his words, the lower detail work has already happened. “We should be in the position to wrap this up in the first fortnight of July,” he elaborated.

Indian Crypto Regulations Ready in July, Official Reveals

Assets, Not Currencies, Still Valuable for Some

In previous comments, Mr. Garg said the Indian government “does not read this [cryptocurrency] as currency” and would not allow its use in the country’s payment system. This, he explained, means the executive power “would do something to eliminate” the illegal use of “crypto assets.” Nevertheless, he recognized that some people may still find value in cryptocurrencies and that would require introducing certain regulations so that crypto transactions are legal and transparent. Earlier reports that the roles of regulators had been decided and that the new rules were coming soon were not confirmed by concrete actions.

Subhash Garg also noted that cryptocurrency exchanges in India are not regulated and indicated that the upcoming regulations would introduce legal requirements for know your customer procedures and record keeping for transactions. In February, he expressed hope that his committee would finalize its recommendations within this financial year. Then, legal changes would have to be made and regulatory responsibilities assigned. Indian media points out, however, that the panel headed by Garg is the second body formed to come up with a solution, after the first committee failed to complete the task.

Indian Crypto Regulations Ready in July, Official Reveals

Indian authorities have been sending mixed signals about the future of cryptocurrencies, along with issuing warnings and applying restrictive administrative measures. In his budget speech in February, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reiterated the official position that cryptocurrencies are not recognized as legal tender and said the government will crack down on their use for illegal activities. Since then, the Income Tax Department has issued notices to thousands of crypto investors accusing them of tax evasion. For its part, the Reserve Bank of India ordered all regulated financial institutions to quit providing services to businesses and individuals dealing in cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, there are voices within the Indian government that insist Bitcoin has its place in India.

Supreme Court Resets Hearing Date to July 3

The RBI gave commercial banks three months to comply with its directive formally motivated with the need to protect consumers and prevent money laundering. Recently, the central bank admitted it had done no proper research into cryptocurrencies before issuing its circular. In the past few weeks, local exchanges have been preparing for the ban by terminating fiat deposits and withdrawals while launching and expanding crypto-to-crypto trading.

Indian Crypto Regulations Ready in July, Official RevealsA number of Indian crypto companies filed petitions against the restrictions that eventually reached the Supreme Court, which barred all other courts from accepting new petitions. The hearing was initially set for July 20, two weeks after the RBI comes into effect, on July 5, which triggered protests by the members of the country’s crypto community.

One of the companies that has filed a petition challenging RBI’s measures is the operator of the Indian exchange Coinrecoil, Kali Digital Eco-Systems. Its co-founder and director, Kunal Barchha, told news.Bitcoin.com that the Supreme Court has rescheduled the hearing for an earlier date on request by one of the other petitioners – the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The review is now set to take place on July 3, before the enforcement of the ban. Mr. Barchha also said that Coinrecoil’s lawyer will file a similar request on July 2 and he expects the court to honor it.

Do you think Indian authorities will eventually adopt looser regulations on cryptocurrencies and crypto transactions? Share your expectations in the comments section below.   


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post Indian Crypto Regulations Ready in July, Official Reveals appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin Makes Historic First Appearance in US Supreme Court Opinion

Thursday marked a historic day for bitcoin, as the flagship cryptocurrency made its first appearance in an opinion published by the US Supreme Court. The case, Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. United States, did not involve bitcoin’s regulatory or legal status. Rather, it examined whether employee stock options represent taxable compensation under the Railroad Retirement Tax … Continued

The post Bitcoin Makes Historic First Appearance in US Supreme Court Opinion appeared first on CCN

Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban Alternatives

Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban Alternatives

Indian cryptocurrency exchanges have followed the Supreme Court’s suggestion for them to present their cases to the Reserve Bank of India. They have sent letters to the central bank, offering alternatives to the RBI’s banking ban.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Supreme Court’s Suggestion

Cryptocurrency exchanges in India have reportedly sent their pleas to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as directed by the Supreme Court’s ruling last month.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban Alternatives
Indian Supreme Court.

The central bank mandated in April that all financial institutions under its control must stop servicing cryptocurrency exchanges and other crypto-related businesses within three months. Some crypto exchanges subsequently took the RBI to court; their writ petitions were passed to the Supreme Court.

The country’s top court decided to hear all the petitions against the RBI ban on July 20 and ordered concerned parties to engage with the central bank to consider their requests. The Supreme Court “allowed cryptocurrency exchanges, their shareholders, traders and other individuals to present their cases within two weeks to the RBI, which will look into the issue in accordance with the law,” as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. Quartz elaborated:

The supreme court suggested that these exchanges can engage with the RBI. So, last week, a clutch of such firms sent out letters making their case against the banking regulator’s prohibitory order.

Crypto Firms’ Requests

Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban AlternativesVarious suggestions were presented to the RBI. According to the news outlet, some of “the bitcoin exchanges have requested the RBI to remove the blanket ban, saying the regulator should instead enforce it only on firms violating the norms.”

A petitioner explained to the publication, “we have also suggested measures that we are ready to take to improve the KYC-AML [Know Your Customer – Anti-Money Laundering] norms, such as including passport details as well. We are also ready to take any suggestion that the regulator has to offer that can address their concerns.”

Anirudh Rastogi, TRA Law’s managing partner who filed the supreme court petition representing four exchanges, told the news outlet:

A ban is counter-productive, therefore, we have suggested that there should be appropriate regulations that can address the government or the central bank’s concerns.

“Other firms have asked for an extension on the deadline,” the publication wrote, adding that it has reviewed an application submitted by Kali Digital Eco-systems Private Limited to the RBI. The document states that “considering the next date of the hearing in the supreme court is after July 06, 2018,” the firm requests the central bank “to extend the time of three months granted in the captioned circular to at least Aug. 31, 2018.”

Coping with RBI Ban

Five writ petitions have been filed, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported. Last month, the Supreme Court mandated that no other courts shall accept any more crypto-related petitions and all existing ones were transferred to the Supreme Court.

Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban AlternativesIn anticipation of the RBI order taking effect, crypto exchanges in the country are increasingly moving away from fiat, creating crypto-to-crypto trading platforms. Unocoin launched a new trading platform with 15 cryptocurrencies last week. Zebpay and Koinex have both launched crypto-to-crypto exchanges.

Currently, the Indian government is working on the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. It has set up a committee under Subhash Garg, the secretary of economic affairs in the finance ministry, to prepare a draft crypto law.

Do you think the RBI will reconsider the ban and accommodate the requests of crypto exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Indian Crypto Exchanges Engage with RBI to Offer Banking Ban Alternatives appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Russian Court Overturns Decision to Block Bitcoin Website

Russian Court Cancels Decision to Block Bitcoin Website

A Russian court has overturned a previous court decision to block a bitcoin-related website because it contains information about cryptocurrencies. The Supreme Court ordered the city court to hear the appeal.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Russian Court Overturned Previous Decision

Russian Court Overturns Decision to Block Bitcoin Website
St. Petersburg City Court.

The St. Petersburg City Court has overturned the ruling of the Vyborgsky District Court of St. Petersburg to block the Bitcoininfo.ru website in Russia.

“The St. Petersburg City Court quashed the decision of the district court to recognize the information posted on the Bitcoininfo.ru website,” Tass reported the city court explaining on Monday, June 4.

“Vyborg District Court of St. Petersburg will again consider the case of the blocking of the site on cryptocurrencies, www.bitcoininfo.ru,” Rapsi learned from the city court, adding:

The city court canceled the decision to block the site and sent the case [back] to the Vyborgsky District Court for a new hearing.

Problem With Spreading Crypto Information

This case began in July 2016 when the St. Petersburg Vyborgsky District Court made the ruling to block the Bitcoininfo.ru website in absence of the site owner. The court “considered the statement of the prosecutor’s office that the site contains information about cryptocurrencies” and decided to block the site, the publication detailed.

Russian Court Overturns Decision to Block Bitcoin WebsiteAccording to the case file, Tass explained that the prosecutor’s office demanded the site be blocked based on its content about cryptocurrencies that “do not lend themselves to state control,” “promote the growth of the shadow economy,” and “do not have certain consumer properties.”

The representative of the website’s owner, Sarkis Darbinyan, told the publication that the prosecutor’s actions “takes place without the involvement of site owners,” adding that none of them received “requests for the removal of prohibited information, and the city court refuses to accept appeals after the actual blocking of websites.”

He further detailed:

According to the statements of the prosecutor’s office of St. Petersburg, about 100 sites devoted to cryptocurrencies have been blocked.

The domain administrator appealed against the court’s decision, believing it to be illegal. However, the city court did not consider his appeal so he appealed to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, which subsequently ordered the city court to consider his complaint.

In March, the St. Petersburg City Court struck down a ban on 40 bitcoin-related websites offering information about cryptocurrencies and exchange services in Russia, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

Do you think bitcoin websites will finally be unblocked in Russia? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Wikimedia.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Russian Court Overturns Decision to Block Bitcoin Website appeared first on Bitcoin News.