India ends cryptocurrency ban

Posted: 4 March 2020 8:21 pm

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You'll know this was big if analysts can see the before and after picture in market data a year from now.

India's Supreme Court has struck down the country's cryptocurrency "ban". More technically, it has ruled the Reserve Bank of India's ring-fencing rule to be unconstitutional. This rule prevented cryptocurrency-related businesses in India, such as cryptocurrency exchanges, from accessing banking services.

The ruling saw Indian cryptocurrency exchanges struggle, but it came with growing volumes on peer-to-peer exchanges.


The cryptocurrency markets overall can be naturally expected to take this outcome as a bullish sign, but how quickly it prices in the expected future rise remains to be seen.

It will also be interesting to see how the market will have changed between the time of the "ban" and now.

In 2017, during the year of the big boom, it's believed that the collective annual income of India's top 10 largest crypto exchanges was $6.25 billion for the year. This isn't just trading fees. Reports say that revenue was also built in part on exorbitant spreads, sometimes in the ballpark of 20%.

The markets have certainly calmed since then, so it will be interesting to see whether that kind of gouging remains possible.

The calmer markets may have factored into the Supreme Court's decision to reverse the RBI's ring-fencing rule. Indeed, the RBI's argument that it is obligated to preserve financial stability makes a lot of sense in light of the late 2017 crypto-mania, but these days, the digital gold is looking much more harmless.

The decision wasn't fast though. It's been almost a full year since a group of cryptocurrency exchanges launched their legal challenge against the RBI's ring-fencing order, and developments in the intervening year may have further helped tip the Supreme Court's decision in favour of cryptocurrency.

One thing to watch for in the coming months may be the presence of Indian cryptocurrency exchanges on the list of usual suspects like Binance, Coinbase and Kraken, among other shifts in the cryptocurrency trading landscape.

If analysts can look back a year from now, and clearly see today in the market data, you'll know it was a big deal.

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Disclosure: The author holds BNB and BTC at the time of writing.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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