Associate, Tatva Legal, Hyderabad
A statement issued by RBI led to a flurry of activities by different stakeholders for almost 5 years. The summary of the judgement issued by the Supreme Court in the case of the Internet and Mobile Association of India versus the Reserve Bank of India sets out the context, arguments, and conclusion of the conflict between those who regulate and those to propose to push the boundaries of technology and finance further. While the nature of cryptocurrency itself is difficult to understand, what is clear is the impact it has had in the world. The Inter-Disciplinary Committee has categorically recommended that the use of cryptocurrency should be stopped, because the dangers of unregulated currency include money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing. This case law itself captures the genesis of virtual currency and block chain, the response of the world to virtual currency, and the stand taken by India in this context. Anonymity is the backbone of virtual currency and naturally the government cannot regulate what it does not know. At the moment, it seems like the judiciary has reaffirmed the government’s stand. However, the future does hold some form of regulated cryptocurrency, which, ideally, can be safe, encrypted, and accessible.
Keywords: RBI, Cryptocurrency, bit coin, Internet Mobile Association of India, Encryption, Supreme Court, Virtual currency