A government official from India has recently expressed his discomfort with Facebook’s upcoming stablecoin, Libra. Just days after this, the social network suggested that it doesn’t have any plans to offer Libra or its digital wallet, Calibra, in what could have been its biggest market.
A spokesperson from Facebook has said that India’s ruthless anti-cryptocurrency stance - and potential ban - is the main reason they are staying away from the country.
“As you may know, there are local restrictions within India that made a launch of Calibra not possible at this time.”
News surfaced earlier this week that India’s Economics Affairs Secretary Subhash Garg had indicated that the stablecoin was unlikely to get a go-ahead from the government. Garg argued that Libra would more than likely meet the same treatment as other cryptocurrencies.
Since the start of last year, India has taken several steps which have had an impact on the nation’s cryptocurrency space. In fact, in 2018 the Reserve Bank of India ordered banks under its regulatory ambit not to offer their services to crypto-related businesses. This had an impact of forcing crypto firms to either cease operations, scale back or move abroad.
At the end of last month, India’s Bitcoin exchange Koinex shut its doors before it even hit its second-year milestone. This came after other exchanges including Zebpay which shut down last year at the end of September.
Even though the Korean exchange hasn’t announced any plans to launch operations overseas. Zebpay has been able to stay afloat by relocating to where it is currently headquartered in Malta, AKA blockchain island.
Speaking on the proposed piece of legislation which would ban all cryptocurrencies and making mining, buying, selling or even holding illegal, the CEO and co-founder of Koinex, Rahul Raj said this:
“...a proposed piece of legislation called the ‘Banning of Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies Bill 2019’ has created enough FUD in the Indian crypto trading community to result into a sharp decline in trading volumes and instil a clear discomfort for all the law-abiding citizens of this great nation.”