Reserve Bank of India Denies Creation of Blockchain Research Unit

Reserve Bank of India has reportedly denied rumours about the creation of Blockchain and AI research unit, according to some of the online reports.

1 October 2018 – The central bank of India (RBI) has reportedly denied the “formal creation” of a unit dedicated to the research of Blockchain and AI technology. Some of the online reports reveal that two anonymous sources “familiar with the central bank’s plans” shared this information with them.

RBI Blockchain Unit Rumours

Earlier this August, AtoZ Markets reported based on the information from online media outlets that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has reportedly set up a new internal unit that is focused on research and regulation of the new emerging technologies. These technologies included Blockchain, cryptocurrency, and artificial intelligence (AI).

While many news outlets have reported this news, the official announcement from the central bank of India was not released. According to a number of online reports, RBI has discreetly moved to form a new unit to explore and oversee innovative technologies via draft guidelines in the future. That time, reports noted that the unit has been already operating for about a month, as it was being led by one of the general managers at the RBI.

The new turn in this story appeared from one of the news outlets. The report quoted RBI as saying:

“There is no new unit created formally in RBI for the purpose (Blockchain, Crypto and AI) mentioned in RTI query”.

However, the Republic of India will be reportedly looking into the Blockchain technology in more detail. India’s Union Cabinet is an executive decision-making body that includes senior government officials and is led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It stated it would enable Indian Export-Import Bank (Exim Bank) to carry out research on distributed ledger and Blockchain technology.

Indian Crypto Exchanges “Crippled”

Earlier this April, the Reserve Bank of India moved to issue a circular that ordered local banks to suspend services provision to cryptocurrency businesses. As a result of the ban, fiat currency withdrawals and deposits have been disabled for exchanges. They survived on crypto-to-crypto trading for some time, but volumes have suffered. 

One of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in India, Zebpay, has halted its operations last week. AtoZ Markets reported that Zebpay issued a blog post, where the company explained its decision:

 “The curb on bank accounts has crippled our, and our customers’, ability to transact business meaningfully. At this point, we are unable to find a reasonable way to conduct the cryptocurrency exchange business. As a result, we are stopping our exchange activities.”

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