Zebpay CEO: India Bitcoin Ban Fears Unfounded
Zebpay CEO, Ajeet Khurana, says he doesn’t believe India would ban bitcoin despite numerous reports in the media that the government is considering a blanket cryptocurrency prohibition. Meanwhile, Khurana’s Zebpay is set to expand operations into Australia, a country currently experiencing increased cryptocurrency adoption.
India Won’t Ban Bitcoin
Speaking during the announcement of Zebpay’s move into the Australian crypto market, Khurana characterized the current fears of an imminent bitcoin ban in India as unfounded. According to the Zebpay chief:
“I must tell you that I have heard of this in general business media outlets however over the last year I have talked to all of the top stakeholders in the Ministry of Finance, the central bank, the securities regulator and despite them having a certain amount misgiving around crypto I have never heard them talk of banning it.”
For Khurana, despite having misgivings about cryptocurrencies, regulators have never definitively declared any intention to ban bitcoin completely.
Back in late April 2019, reports emerged that the government was considering a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies. Several government agencies were reportedly already in agreement with the plan.
However, with general elections imminent, several stakeholders proposed taking any decision until after the polls. In the interim, some state officials called for bitcoin to be banned under the country’s money laundering regulations.
The country’s apex bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in 2018 banned banks from operating accounts of bitcoin exchanges. There is currently an ongoing legal battle in the Supreme Court, challenging the legality of RBI’s action.
This move forced platforms like Zebpay to shutter their services in India in favor of relocating to friendlier crypto regulatory jurisdictions. As previously reported by BTCManager, the RBI omitted cryptocurrency startups from its recently published fintech regulatory sandbox.
Zebpay Expands to Australia
In October 2018, Zebpay, which at the time was India’s largest Bitcoin bourse, was forced to shut down its operations in the country, announcing a move to Malta.
Now in May 2019, the platform is expanding to Australia, having obtained a license from the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center.
Zebpay would join the expanding cast of Bitcoin exchange platforms already domiciled in the country. In recent times, Australian financial regulators have taken steps to create a friendly, yet regulated environment for its emerging cryptocurrency and blockchain technology scene.