According to Quartz, India is considering its own national cryptocurrency, joining the likes of China and Venezuela. This is despite the controversial blanket ban issued in India about blockchain-related companies. India has been staunchly anti-DLT, even more so than other regions such as the US and China. As per a senior government official quoted in Quartz –
“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.”
Nothing official on an Indian national cryptocurrency
It can be difficult to get any accurate information on the blockchain industry in India. The Reserve Bank of India issued a blanket ban on DLT which forced all blockchain-related companies out of the country, a ban which is currently being debated by the Supreme Court. When a lawyer sent the bank a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the bank stated that it did not issue any research into whether or not cryptocurrencies were dangerous. In other words, it declared a ban whose constitutionality is in question, without actually undertaking any research whatsoever. More recently, rumors arose that the bank was starting a cryptocurrency research unit based on the Indian Economic Times, which turned out to false as the bank denied the creation of any such unit after another FOIA request.
Nothing official was declared from the Reserve Bank regarding the research unit, and the news turned out to be false. Similarly, they have not yet issued anything official concerning a national cryptocurrency. If it does turn out to be factual, then it will merely serve to outline the hypocrisy of the Indian government and the central banking infrastructure.
The sad state of DLT in India
DLT is a new construct that can level the gap between superpowers such as the UK, the USA, and Germany. Countries like Malta, Costa Rica, the Baltic States, and Japan have utilized DLT superbly and are far ahead of the curve. A country such as India could have used the technology to finally modernize a very poor area of 1.4 Billion inhabitants, over 20% of the world’s population. Instead, it opted to issue an immediate ban on cryptocurrency without undertaking any research and is now exploring the possibility of creating its own national cryptocurrency, which is a completely pointless concept with no real advantages. It is essentially digital fiat with jargon and marketing thrown in for good measure.
A possible silver lining is that Ripple(XRP) seems to be taking off in the region, and banks are getting on board with the Ripple Network globally as a means of settling cross-border transactions. However, it does not represent the true decentralized movement, where people use a currency that is not owned by anyone and is impossible to manipulate.
As it stands, India has performed very poorly with its approach towards DLT, and other countries such as Dubai, Switzerland, Estonia, Malta, Costa Rica, and Canada are already reaping the fruits of positive DLT policies. Additionally, with its illogical war on cash, India just seems to be fundamentally against progress and innovation in general, preferring to be left behind.
Digital Nomad with an interest in Zen and Blockchain technology.
Law graduate with 3 years experience as a consultant in the capital markets industry and 4 years experience freelancing on UpWork as a Creative Writer.