A petition supporting blockchain has gained 17,000 signatures since India Central Bank’s announced it was to terminate business with crypto-related accounts on 5 April.
Starting on the same day the Central Bank made its statement, the impetus behind the petition has been driven mainly by younger users who are employed in the industry, citing youth unemployment as a major concern.
The petition notes that blockchain technology is here to stay and that any prohibition of business activities reduces India’s competitiveness in the market risking the country being “left behind”.
Leaders from within the industry have been voicing their own particular concerns about the ban since the petition. Nischal Shetty, CEO of crypto exchange WazirX, sent a direct tweet to the Reserve Bank of India asking it to “think progressively” and “reconsider” its decision.
US, Japan, South Korea go towards regulating Cryptos so that their country progresses while RBI decides to block Indians from getting involved in the crypto revolution. We need to think progressively, @RBI please reconsider this and let's take a positive step forward ??
— Nischal (WazirX) ⚡️ (@NischalShetty) April 5, 2018
As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India needs to remain competitive by providing new technologies with skilled labour. The blockchain and cryptocurrency sphere is one such area employing many young people.
India has one of the highest youth populations in the world; current estimates indicate a high of 356 million youth. By 2020, 500 million Indian citizens are expected to be under the age of 25.
India’s recent financial growth has not trickled down to benefit the sheer volume of young people who are out work. A lack of skilled manpower is one of the reasons behind such large numbers of unemployed youth and new technologies provide opportunities for new skills to be developed. Since its introduction, blockchain technology has created tens of thousands of jobs for young Indians.
The economic factor is also a concern to many. Recently, tech investor Tim Draper voiced his concerns with the Central Bank’s announcement, suggesting that this “mistake” could cause a tech drain.He believed this scenario to be likely following any total ban of cryptocurrency in India due to other emerging players around the world needing the technological expertise to develop their own industry portfolios.
Pakistan’s State Bank was quick to follow India last week with a statement confirming that financial companies would be barred from working with cryptocurrency firms in the country.