Supreme Court seeks center’s view on cryptocurrency within 2 weeks

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to give its view on cryptocurrency within two weeks. The court was hearing a bunch of petitions filed by cryptocurrency exchanges, challenging an April 6 RBI circular that disallowed entities regulated by it from providing banking channels to exchanges to trade in cryptocurrency.

Though there is no ban on trade or exchange of cryptocurrencies in the country, RBI discourages their use. The RBI order had virtually stopped all trade and exchange of bitcoins — a type of cryptocurrency — even though there is no official ban on it, said Nakul Dewan, counsel for nine cryptocurrency exchanges.

Dewan said though cryptocurrencies were banned in at least nine countries, some jurisdictions such as China and Europe allowed it. He said the government must give some finality to the issue. “We have got employees. There are jobs,” he said, adding that the issue has been lingering on since May.

RBI counsel Shyam Divan told the court that the banking regulator was only trying to discourage the use of cryptocurrencies and that it was essentially a policy decision, on which the government must take a call.

The bench of Justices RF Nariman and Naveen Sinha then asked the government to place its position before the court.



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