India’s Supreme Court Refuses to Lift Cryptocurrency Banking Ban

In a ruling today, India’s highest court of law refused to grant any temporary respite against the central bank’s ban on banking services to cryptocurrency exchanges.

On April 5, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) – the country’s central bank – issued a circular to all regulated financial institutions including banks to prohibit them from providing services to businesses in the cryptocurrency sector. The crippling policy also mandated banks to stop allowing their own retail clients from purchasing cryptocurrencies through their banking accounts. With a three-month deadline, the ban effectively begins on Thursday, July 5.

The move predictably raised alarm across the nascent but rapidly-growing domestic crypto sector. A number of exchanges filed petitioned in courts across India to challenge the central bank, arguing the policy was “arbitrary, unfair and unconstitutional”. Such was the reaction from the industry that the Supreme Court weighed in – a month after the RBI circular – to scoop all pending claims while barring high courts from accepting any further petitions against the RBI curbs.

In mid-June, a petition by the Internet and Mobile Association of India – counting crypto exchanges as its members – fast-tracked a legal challenge against the RBI ban for an early hearing at the Supreme Court today.

However, the Supreme Court has refused to grant a temporary stay the RBI circular in today’s session.

According to one law firm representing a domestic cryptocurrency exchange, the industry had sought to extend the deadline by a month after a hearing on July 20, the next date for a Supreme Court hearing of the case…

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