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India: RBI Deputy Governor’s Reappointment Could Maintain Crypto Policy Status Quo

India: RBI Deputy Governor’s Reappointment Could Maintain Crypto Policy Status Quo

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor Michael Patra has been reappointed for another year, effective January 15. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) confirmed Patra’s extended tenure, which could impact India’s stance on crypto regulation.

Patra reportedly joined the RBI in 1985, and has had experience in different roles within the central bank. His initial appointment as Deputy Governor and subsequent extension mean the RBI’s financial viewpoint on cryptoassets remains unchanged.

RBI’s influence on crypto policies

In February 2022, Patra was quoted as saying that the delay in India’s crypto legislation was possibly influenced by the RBI’s stance on crypto. During an event, he revealed that the government planned to introduce a crypto bill in Parliament. It has been two years since that announcement, and the bill is yet to materialize.

Previously, the government has aligned with the RBI when it comes to the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. The administration has acknowledged the value of blockchain technology, encouraging its use in the fintech sector. But private cryptocurrencies have been viewed as dangerous for India’s financial stability.

India’s cautious approach

Last year, at the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting chaired by India, the discussion emphasized the significant risks associated with cryptocurrencies. The meeting acknowledged the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) concerns, and while the RBI supported a complete prohibition, the group stopped short of endorsing a widespread ban.

In a recent move, Apple’s App Store in India blocked applications from Binance, KuCoin, and eight other crypto exchanges. This action aligned with the government’s cautious approach towards unregulated foreign crypto entities.

Patra’s reappointment signals a continuation of the RBI’s firm stance on cryptocurrency regulation. His leadership would navigate digital assets with caution. Despite India and other G20 nations working towards a globally informed crypto roadmap.

However, the introduction of a dedicated crypto bill in 2024 remains uncertain. But Patra’s renewed term could be crucial for the bill.