India’s government fought cryptocurrency for a long time. Now it may be launching its own

It looks as if authorities in India are veering towards a state-backed cryptocurrency…

At one stage earlier this year, it looked as if authorities in India were staging something of an all-out war on cryptocurrency. Its central bank had effectively attempted to ban cryptocurrencies from the country, a decision that ended up in court, and the welcome mat was hardly being laid out.

Then, though, came the news at the end of August that the Reserve Bank Of India was actually talking about “the need to explore a digital currency for the country”. And that “an inter-departmental group has been constituted by the Reserve Bank to study and provide guidance on the desirability and feasibility to introduce a central bank digital currency”. You can read more on that in our earlier report, here.

Bottom line, though, is that a panel that was convened by India’s finance ministry is edging towards recommending a government-backed cryptocurrency.

It’d mark a fairly dramatic about turn. Chatting to Quartz, someone described as a ‘senior government official privy to the discussions’ of the aforementioned panel was quoted as saying “we are evaluating the government-backed cryptocurrency and crypto-token. And we are looking to develop and encourage our own research and development of blockchain technology”.

The panel is expected to submit its report at the end of the year, some six months later than originally planned. After that, it’s a case of the Indian government evaluating its report, and duly making its decision as to what to do next. We await further developments with interest…

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