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India’s Securities Regulator and RBI Clash Over Crypto Regulations

In this post:

  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have conflicting views on cryptocurrency regulation.
  • SEBI suggests multiple regulators should oversee the crypto market, advocating for diversified control over different aspects of digital assets.
  • The RBI continues to support a complete ban on stablecoins and views private cryptocurrencies as a macroeconomic threat.

India’s debate over cryptocurrency regulation heats up as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) present contrasting views to government panels. The ongoing discord highlights the struggle to align on the approach towards the cryptocurrency space, which has been a popular issue within the country’s financial and regulatory circles.

Reportedly, the SEBI has taken a proactive step by suggesting that various regulators should oversee the cryptocurrency market, indicating a change towards more open regulatory attitudes. But then here comes the RBI. Will they let that happen?

SEBI Proposes Multi-Regulator Oversight

SEBI has put forward a proposal suggesting that cryptocurrency trade should be overseen by multiple regulatory bodies, according to newly surfaced documents. This recommendation marks a clear departure from previous more cautious stances, showing a willingness among some Indian regulators to embrace the complexities of cryptocurrencies.

Related: Binance and Kucoin Resume Crypto Services in India

SEBI’s proposal includes allowing different entities to regulate specific aspects of the cryptocurrency market. For instance, assets tied to insurance and pensions could fall under the purview of the IRDAI and the PFRDA, respectively.

In addition to general oversight, SEBI also sees itself potentially regulating Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies that are considered securities, similar to practices in the United States. This approach would involve issuing licenses for equity market-related products within the crypto industry, aiming to integrate these assets into the traditional financial system while ensuring proper oversight.

RBI Maintains Call for a Ban

Contrasting sharply with SEBI’s openness, the RBI continues to push for a complete ban on stablecoins and maintains a conservative position on private cryptocurrencies. The central bank argues that these pose a macroeconomic risk and could lead to issues like tax evasion and loss of seigniorage.

According to a person close to the panel’s discussions, the RBI’s submissions emphasized the dangers of decentralized, peer-to-peer platforms which operate based on voluntary compliance, highlighting risks to fiscal stability.

The RBI’s stringent view follows its historical approach that began in 2018 when it initially banned financial institutions from dealing with cryptocurrency exchanges and users—a decision that was later overturned by the Supreme Court. Despite the court’s ruling, the RBI has encouraged banks to adhere strictly to stringent money laundering and foreign exchange guidelines to reduce the risks associated with cryptocurrencies.

Government Weighs its Regulatory Options

As the government panel tasked with deciding on these recommendations moves closer to finalizing its report, the tension between SEBI’s progressive proposals and RBI’s conservative views captures a historical moment in India’s cryptocurrency regulation drama.

Also Read: India’s Economic Growth Is Proving to Be Sustainable

The ongoing debate also reflects a global dilemma over how best to regulate cryptocurrencies. As India dealt with its presidency of the G20 last year, it called for a global framework to regulate such assets, indicating its recognition of both the international implications and the need for a coordinated approach to cryptocurrency governance.

Now the clock ticks towards the defining moment in June, and India is standing right at the edge of a regulatory revolution. Will the nation embrace crypto once and for all, or will it officially kick it to the curb?


Cryptopolitan reporting by Jai Hamid

DisclaimerThe information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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