India’s highest court has declined to end a ban enacted by the national central bank that bars the country’s crypto exchanges from doing business with regulated financial firms.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that the Indian Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, said that the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) prohibition on providing services to crypto-related businesses will “remain implemented.”
The decision continues the ban, announced in April 2018, when the RBI said that financial institutions would not be allowed to work with exchanges or related firms. It gave the banks three months to exit that market, making July 6 as the official start date for the ban, as previously reported by CoinDesk.
The policy shift prompted moves by members of India’s cryptocurrency ecosystem to launch a series of legal challenges. But, as CoinDesk reported on May 22, the Indian Supreme Court barred all other courts from accepting petitions, after five similar petitions were filed against the RBI. At the time, the Supreme Court said it would hold a hearing on July 20.
According to Quartz, the hearing was held on July 3 instead of July 20 after the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), which counts bitcoin exchanges as its members, requested an early hearing.
The RBI claimed during the hearing that cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, cannot be treated as currency in India as the country’s law requires coins “to be made of metal or existing in physical form and stamped by the government.’
The Supreme Court fight isn’t over yet, as the July 20 hearing is still set to take place.
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