Indian regulatory officials visit UK, Japan, and Switzerland to study cryptocurrencies
With uncertainty hanging over the fate of cryptocurrencies in India, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has sent its officials to UK, Switzerland, and Japan in an attempt to study and understand the world of cryptos and initial coin offerings from each of these three countries’ financial regulators.
The aim of this process is to engage with international authorities to get a deeper insight into the world of crypto mechanisms and systems in order to improve its own system.
This was revealed by SEBI in its Annual Report 2017-18 in which it said that it sent some of its officials to these countries to study how regulators there deal with cryptocurrencies.
The report goes on to explain, “SEBI on a regular basis enables study tour of its officials to overseas authorities. These study tours help engage with the international regulators and gain [a] deeper understanding of the systems and mechanisms.”
The securities watchdog noted that in the past, it “has benefited a lot from these experiences and the knowledge transfer helps improve the processes within SEBI.”
According to the report, SEBI organised study tours to Financial Services Agency (FSA) Japan, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) UK, and Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) Switzerland to study initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies.
SEBI is not the only one
SEBI is not the only Indian regulator to pay attention to other jurisdictions. Recently, the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), published its annual report for 2017-18 which had a section on cryptocurrency.
According to the report:
On a global level, regulatory responses to cryptocurrency have ranged from a complete clamp down in some jurisdictions to a comparatively ‘light touch regulatory approach’…Japan and South Korea account for the biggest shares of crypto asset markets in the world.
The RBI also confirmed it is “keeping a close watch on cryptocurrency and how they operate,” reiterating that it issued a circular, banning banks from providing services to crypto businesses.
Developing a framework for crypto regulations in India
The Indian government has been trying to work out a framework for regulating cryptocurrencies. According to Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs, the proposal was supposed to be ready in July.
However, according to reports earlier this month, regulations are unlikely to be ready before the the end of this year.
Amidst all this uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrencies in India, the country’s highest court is going to hear all petitions against RBI’s crypto banking ban on September 11. While the crypto community is hoping for a positive outcome, the fate of cryptocurrencies in India lies in balance for the time being.
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