Facebook's Libra may be banned in India due to crypto laws

21 Jun, 2019
by David Borman
News
Facebook's Libra may be banned in India due to crypto laws

It is being reported by Coindesk that Facebook's newly announced currency, the Libra, may not be legal in India, which just so happens to be a massive market for Facebook and WhatsApp users.

Cryptocurrencies aren't exactly illegal in India right now, however they are not seen as actual currencies and only peer-to-peer transactions are allowed. There is currently a ban on corporate entities from using cryptocurrencies, though this is being contested with the next hearing on July 23rd.

If the ban on corporations holds however, then there is really no legal way that Facebook can launch the Libra inside of India. This could pose as an issue, considering there are 400,000,000 Facebook and WhatsApp users in the nation.

It seems the tech giant has not even tried to pass its currency through the correct channels. The article cites an Economic Times report which is quoted:

"Facebook has not filed any application with RBI (Reserve Bank of India) for its cryptocurrency in India."

Seeing as the government is currently deeply mistrusting of cryptocurrencies, it is unlikely that the coin would simply be overlooked. Anirudh Rastogi, founder of Ikigai Law, is also quoted:

"If Facebook were to design the Libra to be a closed system, only to be transacted on its network and not beyond, RBI should ideally be less concerned, since the coin does not engage with the external economy... If it is not meant to operate in a closed system, then it is exactly the kind of digital asset that concerns RBI."

Seeing as it certainly doesn't sound like the Libra is planning on operating in a "closed system," this could be an issue for Facebook.

Will this delay the launch? Or will Facebook just not have the Indian market? Stick with Chepicap for all updates!

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