- Bitcoin support steady above USD 8,500
- India reverses central bank freeze on crypto banking accounts
- India’s digital future seems solar power take center stage
Bitcoin price continues to flounder below USD 9,000 levels today, though the signs of strong support above USD 8,500 are clear for all to see, with bears unable to plumb fresh depths as bulls look for signs on the road to recovery.
The day’s biggest news has to be that of the Indian Supreme Court ruling against the Reserve Bank of India’s decision in 2018 that single-handedly caused crypto trading to stop in the world’s second most populous nation.
A Bloomberg report said that a three-judge bench of the court had ruled in favor of petitions by crypto exchanges and startups who had been opposing the Indian central bank’s crypto freeze in April 2018. The action saw many bank accounts belonging to local exchanges frozen, but individual crypto users, particularly those trading, had also fallen victim as banks and other financial institutions were barred from providing banking services to these crypto-related entities.
Supreme Court of India has struck off Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) banking ban against #Crypto. The Court held that RBI Circular dated 6th April 2018 is unconstitutional.
— Crypto Kanoon (@cryptokanoon) March 4, 2020
The move at the time sparked an exodus of crypto exchanges in the country out to other blockchain-friendly jurisdictions. Others simply changed their business model, from fiat-to-crypto to crypto-to-crypto and over-the-counter trading.
Many crypto exchanges banded together to file petitions to the Supreme Court after the central bank’s decision in 2018, bringing the situation to a limbo of uncertaintly for almost two years, until today. The aftermath could not be prevented, however, as in those two years, some have closed down operations.
Exchange monitor CoinCDX cEO Sumit Gupta welcomed the decision, saying:
“The uplifting of the ban by Supreme Court is going to open new opportunities for India in terms of investments, economy, and a market as a whole. As few of the surviving petitioners of the case, we are thankful to the Supreme Court for hearing our side of the story. We have always seen crypto as a potential to unlock India’s dream of becoming a $5 trillion economy.”
Tanvi Ratna, CEO and founder of Policy 4.0, which has been working on policy in the country, had earlier analyzed that the “big victory” should see “a resurgence of liquidity and resumption of activity with exchanges and other startups” but warned that the relief could be short-lived, since the court decision might not bear any significance at a policy level. She explained:
“What is logical to conclude is that if the verdict goes against the actions of the central bank, there might be re-thinking on the issue within our financial policymakers. There is no guarantee this will happen though, especially if the verdict only address the question of regulatory overreach of the RBI, and leaves sufficient leeway for policymakers to decide upon the treatment of cryptocurrencies.”
All this will be good news alongside a national blockchain strategy via the Digital India initiative from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who hopes that AI, quantum computing and machine learning will drive future economic activity and growth.
The IMF and the World Bank have both released GDP growth forecasts of at least 7% over the next few years, and this will trigger a rapid growth of hydrocarbon-fueled energy demand that will mark rapid urbanization, rising incomes and population growth. In fact, by 2040, energy demand in India will double to 11% of global demand, and this has prompted the country to seek alternatives as the third largest consumer of energy and carbon producer.
The answer? Clean, renewable, solar energy, of which India has plenty of. When Modi launched the International Solar Alliance in 2015, it seemed to be light years ahead of the Paris Agreement. In the five years since then, now 10% of its electricity is derived from that, and predicts to be at 40% in just ten years.
Solar-powered blockchain tech? India’s getting there!
Image Courtesy: Pixabay