India Central Bank Forms New Unit to Tackle Blockchain Regulation

India's central bank has formed a new unit within the organization to tackle research and regulatory frameworks for blockchain and cryptocurrency.

AccessTimeIconAug 27, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:19 a.m. UTC

India's central bank has reportedly formed a new unit devoted to researching regulatory frameworks for blockchain, cryptocurrencies and other technologies.

According to a Monday report from the Economic Times that cited sources familiar with the matter, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched the new unit about a month ago, with the mandate to "research and possibly draft rules" for emerging technologies.

"As a regulator, the RBI also has to explore new emerging areas to check what can be adopted and what cannot. ... This new unit is on an experimental basis and will evolve as time passes," one of the sources was quoted as saying.

While the RBI has not officially announced the unit, the news follows a report from the central bank detailing its blockchain-related trials, which hinted the creation of a regulatory framework for blockchain.

CoinDesk reported last year that the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), founded in the 1990s by the RBI, was developing a prototype blockchain platform.

As indicated by a report published by the RBI in February, the IDRBT has already tested a proof-of-concept for settling trade finance transactions via a distributed network, with participants including banks and payment vendors.

Indian banknote image via Shutterstock

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