India's Central Bank Stays Mum on Crypto Ban Reasoning

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has responded to a query about why it moved to block banks from dealing with cryptocurrency businesses earlier this year – but the reply isn’t very telling.

Shri Varun Sethi, who presents himself as a “blockchain lawyer,” requested clarifications from RBI under the country’s Right to Information Act. According to the answers provided, the decision didn’t result from any kind of special research or deliberation by the regulator.

For example, officials aid “no” when asked whether the central bank had convened a commission to explore the nature and risks of blockchain tech. And while past publications from the RBI reference reports regarding the use of cryptocurrencies for illicit uses, the central bank declined to identify which ones it pointed to.

It also refused to clarify if there were any expert opinions solicited on the matter, if the RBI had collected any information on existing cryptocurrency exchanges in India and if officials made any effort to draft a framework for dealing with cryptocurrencies within the national banking system.