India’s crypto industry was on edge this September 10th as they awaited a potentially historic decision by the Supreme Court on a banking crypto ban by India’s Central Bank.
The only decision that was made on that day, however, was the adjournment/postponement of the matter to the next day.
Again, all in suspense the next day to hear the decision, but it was adjourned. As it was the day after, and the day after, for weeks. Now a month later, an India based lawyer has begun sounding like a broken tape, stating:
“Crypto Matter was listed as item no. 13 in Court no. 8 in the Supreme Court before Justices Rohinton and Navin Sinha. The matter could not reach and therefore adjourned.”
India’s biggest crypto exchange with two million users, ZebPay, could not hold off any longer. On September 28th, they said:
“Lakhs of Indians took their first step into the world of Bitcoin using the Zebpay app. Your trust has been the pillar of our strength.
Despite regulatory and banking problems along our journey, we continued to look for solutions as we did not want India to miss the bus of digital assets that power the public blockchain.
However, the recent past has been extremely difficult. The curb on bank accounts has crippled our, and our customer’s, ability to transact business meaningfully. At this point, we are unable to find a reasonable way to conduct the cryptocurrency exchange business.
As a result, we are stopping our exchange activities. At 4 p.m. today (28 September 2018), we will cancel all unexecuted crypto-to-crypto orders and credit your coins/tokens back to your Zebpay wallet. No new orders will be accepted until further notice.”
Had India’s Supreme Court made a decision rather than adjourned and adjourned, ZebPay might have not gone out of business.
Many crypto businesses in India may now be on the edge, as may be this country’s reputation. What sort of legal system adjourns and adjourns everyday? What sort of legal system does not temporarily suspend an order that is challenged as unconstitutional, an order that had not yet come into effect, until it makes a decision?
Their legal system is presumably based on British law, but in Britain the status quo is upheld in court in these sort of situations as otherwise the court is pre-empting its own final decision. That means the court should have delayed the coming into force of the diktat by the central bank and then it could have kept adjourning the case as long as it wanted.
Moreover, the legal system in India clearly appears to be overwhelmed with cases. Courts usually are slow everywhere, and cases may be adjourned once or twice, but ever day for some 30 days is very much a joke.
Instead of addressing this serious problem by properly resourcing the courts, India’s bankers are seemingly far more pre-occupied with closing down perfectly legal businesses as they probably fear such crypto businesses may eat their lunch.
Of course, what they’re arguing is money laundering, an activity in which India’s banks excel, and an activity in which cash will probably continue to reign for long.
What they really want to argue however is that these new technologically advanced digital value transfer networks may send the banks to Blockbuster town to join other has beens, like Nokia.
Such banks are clearly not serving India’s economy if we go by these constant court adjournments probably due to starved resources. Judges, therefore, may well think crypto businesses will serve them better. While politicians in India may think some competition to the mighty banks may keep them from blackmailing their country as they blackmailed New York.
Yet that may be far too much to expect from an under-developed economy that fits more the 19th century than this digital age. An economy ripe for disruption and leapfrogging if only the bankers were not going around shutting down perfectly legal businesses.
A transgression that is meant to be stopped by the Supreme Court, but if India had a proper functioning legal system, the matter would have not even reached this stage.
We therefore fully expect them to declare the central bank of India is above the sovereignty of parliament by having the authority to make illegal what parliament says is legal.
A decision that would be the deathknell of freedom in India, and therefore deserves full resistance as well as complete sabotage in all peaceful manners. Something which will probably naturally happen due to the profit motive as China is finding out.
In which case, such decision would only go to show India remains a dysfunctional kleptocracy ruled by bankers in financial matters. Something which Indian millennials will probably be too keen to change.