Last month, the Reserve Bank of India had announced a regulatory sandbox, for emerging technologies such as blockchain. However, it had excluded some of the burning topics of the hour, such as cryptocurrencies, Initial Coin Offerings, among others.
Crypto-News India had quoted the report as saying, “A regulatory sandbox (RS) usually refers to live testing of new products or services in a controlled/test regulatory environment for which regulators may (or may not) permit certain regulatory relaxations for the limited purpose of the testing.”
At the time, Nischal Shetty, the founder of WazirX had told us, “A crypto sandbox would have helped Indian entrepreneurs participate more freely in building blockchain based applications. What’s confusing is that the draft speaks about blockchain being allowed but crypto not being allowed. Now that’s a clear proof of the misunderstanding of blockchain. Without crypto, public blockchain projects cannot be built.”
Now, a new report from news portal Economic Times says that IT Industry Trade Body Nasscom is pressuring the RBI to reconsider its criteria and include cryptocurrencies in the fray.
The news portal quoted the body as saying, “Since cryptocoins and tokens are an important component of the blockchain technology, the draft regulations appear to exclude testing of smart contracts and other approved blockchain technology under the sandbox. The decision to keep cryptocurrencies, trading of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings out of the purview of the regulatory sandbox is still not clear.”
Nasscom has certainly come a long way from their “Cryptocurrencies are illegal” statement. Last October, the president of NASSCOM Debjani Ghosh had said, “It is law of the land and hence, we have to work with it. If we do not agree, we have to go back to the government and speak about why cryptocurrencies aren’t correct.”
Apart from that, the Payment Council of India (PCI) is also making efforts to persuade the central bank to change their stance. Naveen Surya, chairman of PCI said, “The boundaries can’t be defined right away. The discussion has been on how an open framework can be created instead of a subset of existing laws, because then we wouldn’t be achieving the innovation objective… Ideally, they shouldn’t have such large exclusions.”
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