India may be softening its position on cryptocurrency after all

An Indian government official suggests that an outright ban on cryptocurrency in the country isn’t on the agenda…

The Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) has attracted no shortage of ire from the cryptocurrency community in recent times, primarily due to the effective ban that it’s introduced on crypto (as we reported here). It had ruled that from July 5th, nobody could invest or withdraw money from digital assets in the country, declaring that entities who dealt with the RBI were prohibited from dealing with or settling virtual currencies.

India’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, Zebpay, thus disabled all fiat activity from its platform, and you are no longer allowed to invest or withdraw in Indian Rupees from its service. The ramifications of the RBI’s actions were quickly being felt.

However, might India’s position now be softening?

A new report from Quartz Media has quoted a senior government official in India, who has said that “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”.

Which is softer language than had been used previously. It’s also believed to be the thinking of a special panel set up by the country’s finance ministry, although how that translates into a change of policy remains to be seen. After all, the RBI’s restrictions remain in force. We wait with interest to see what it does next.

Image: BigStock