Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is considering a ‘regulatory sandbox’ approach to allow for greater innovation of new emerging technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence.
According to news portal Economic Times, officials said SEBI is of the view that innovation in financial technologies like blockchain for settlement, artificial intelligence including robo-advisory, e-wallets, security systems for intermediaries and market infrastructure institutions, resolution of complaints, outsourcing and development of new technology can be better done through a ‘sandbox’ mechanism.
This is not the first time, the regulatory body has stated that it is ready to open its mind towards blockchain and cryptocurrencies. In September last year, the news was broken by none other than SEBI itself in its 2017-18 annual report. The report said that in last financial year the Indian security markets regulator sent its officials on study tours to UK, Japan and Switzerland for studying ICOs and cryptocurrencies.
It had said, “SEBI organised study tours to Financial Services Agency (FSA) Japan, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) UK and Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), Switzerland to study Initial Coin offerings and crypto-currencies.”
Interestingly, nothing had been mentioned regarding when these tours were organized, and what did the officials learn from these tours. The report just said that our regulators met regulators of Japan, UK and Switzerland to take their inputs on what to do and what not to do with cryptocurrencies.
Last year, Ajay Tyagi, the chairman of SEBI had said, “The day the Budget was presented, on the next day itself we have requested DEA (Department of Economic Affairs) to call a meeting of that, very quickly. We want first a policy to be framed. We have actually decided that which regulator will do what and we want that the committee should come out with the regulations very quickly and we will fully contribute to this.”
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