Indian Central Bank Governor Says Blockchain Technology Can Thrive Without Cryptocurrencies

There are far deeper issues involved with cryptocurrencies, RBI’s Shaktikanta Das said.

Nov 17, 2021 at 9:42 a.m. UTC
Updated Nov 17, 2021 at 4:04 p.m. UTC

While the Indian government has recently softened its stance on cryptocurrencies, the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) remains against them.

  • “The blockchain technology has been there for 10 years and can grow without cryptocurrencies,” RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said at the SBI Banking and Economics Conclave on Tuesday. “When the central bank says we have serious concerns from the point of view of macroeconomic and financial stability, there are far deeper issues involved.”
  • Das criticized industry players for cursory discussions on the issues involving cryptocurrencies and called for serious analysis.
  • The RBI’s anti-crypto stance is well known by now. The central bank had banned all regulated lenders from holding or facilitating cryptocurrency transactions in April 2018. However, the decision was set aside by the Supreme Court of India in March 2020.
  • Das’ latest comments come on the heels of the Indian government’s assurances to take progressive and forward-looking steps on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Das had also said earlier that the number of Indians reported to be investing in crypto could be “exaggerated.”
  • The Indian government is looking to ban the use of crypto as a payment method, but will allow and regulate trading of crypto as assets, according to a report.
  • The government may table a crypto regulation bill in the upcoming winter session of the parliament, scheduled to start from Nov. 29 and end around Dec. 23.

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Omkar Godbole is the senior reporter on CoinDesk's Markets team.