Last week, in an ever so controversial move, the Reserve Bank of India
(RBI) made various moves to cut off customers who had been trading in or using cryptocurrencies
The move sparked an outrage in the crypto-sphere as India joined the list of countries who are taking firm measures to prevent cryptocurrency expansion on their shores.
This announcement, followed a report of a similar orientation from the Financial Standards Authority in the UK, who highlighted their plans to ensure cryptocurrency
use becomes more regulated on UK shores.
The move by the RBI, kick started an online campaign titled “Make India at the forefront of Blockchain Applications revolution’, you can see it and/or sign it for yourself here- https://www.change.org/p/rbi-make-india-at-the-forefront-of-blockchain-applications-revolution
Hosted on Change.org, the petition highlights that not only is it important for governments to want to keep up with trends in emerging technology, but moreover, this move by the RBI puts 1000’s of jobs at risk. There are numerous programmes operating in India that use cryptocurrency and blockchain technology as a format for education, giving young people skills to enter a thriving workplace. The petition states:
“Government's job should be able to facilitate the next wave of tech and encourage innovation. There are tens of thousands of youth that have gotten jobs or employment with blockchain and relating companies. This is massive for a government which has not been able to improve the employment rate.” (sic)
At the time of writing, the petition is at just over 19,000 signatures, cruising towards 20,000 plus and will no doubt exceed that number over the coming days.
What’s the point?
Of course, this petition is just advisory, meaning that even if everybody on the planet signed it, the government don’t need to take any action. However, in a democracy such as India, with so much at stake here, it’s quite important that the government at least need to be seen to act and respond to this petition. Of course, the more signatures it gets, the more power it has.
The creators, want to use this to open a live dialogue with the RBI in order to set out an environment where regulations can be established, instead of just banning cryptocurrency altogether. Hopefully, given the traction this is making, both the RBI and the Indian government respond appropriately and in good time.
Otherwise, not only does this decision cast a grim shadow over cryptocurrency in India, the jobs market is about to take a big hit, with 1000’s already in line to lose jobs, the knock on effect of this could be quite devastating indeed.
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