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Mass Online Petition Against India's Crackdown On Cryptocurrency


An online petition in protest against India's ban on banks providing services to investors in digital currencies is gaining momentum, with the number of signatories nearing 20,000.

Addressed to the RBI and the Prime Minister, the petition calls on the government to adopt a framework which will allow cryptocurrency innovation to flourish instead of trying to stifle it. It points to failed attempts by cities around the world to block call taxi services such as Ola and Uber as an example of why it wouldn't work.

Indians can no longer avail the services of the country's banks to purchase and sell cryptocurrencies after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last week slapped an immediate ban on banks providing services to investors in digital currencies.

In its monetary policy review, the Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Bibhu Prasad Kanungo said the decision was taken in view of "the associated risks".

The central bank asked banks already providing such services to cryptocurrency investors to stop them within three months.

In the same press conference, the second top official of the Reserve Bank said that in the wake of rising popularity of crypto currencies such as bitcoin and the blockchain technology that supports it, a panel has been set up to explore the possibility of introducing official digital currency.

The report will be submitted by the end of June.

The petition, launched on change.org, points out the RBI hypocrisy of stopping others and at the same time planning to explore blockchain technology and creating their own currency.

The petitioners reminded: "if a government does not facilitate adoption of new technology the country stands to be left behind - that's when people like Sundar Pichai or Satya Nadella have to leave the country and they become creators for some other countries."

Meanwhile, Indian cryptocurrency exchanges are reportedly moving overseas and drawing up contingency plans for their survival after the Reserve Bank directive.

The petition also argue that the ban would lead to hard earned money of millions of Indians getting affected.

The digital asset exchanges of India, which initiated the mass petition, said it would like to facilitate dialogue with RBI, SEBI and the Government about this matter.

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