Indian Crypto Exchanges Take RBI to Court Over Crypto Circular

Indian Crypto Exchanges Take RBI to Court Over Crypto Circular

May 16, 2018 by Ramaa Mohan
RBI Legal action

In response to the circular that RBI issued at the beginning of April, commanding all registered banks and businesses to suspend all crypto trading, handling and dealing in three months, quite a large legal storm has been brewing.

With no indication of the circular being called-back or amended in response to a large amount of online activism, crypto exchanges in the country have come together to challenge the circular and all that it stands for.

Currently, there are two ongoing cases that are challenging the circular. One in the Delhi High Court and the other in the Supreme Court of India. The complaint that the Delhi High Court is hearing and dealing with is co-signed by two cryptocurrency exchanges that go by the names of CoinRecoil and MoneyTrade Coin. The higher level complaint and lawsuit that is being heard by the Supreme Court is co-signed by four exchanges that call themselves; Coindelta, Koinex, Throughbit Exchange and CoinDCX. Both plaintiffs have complained against the RBI and the Centre.

Lawyers and crypto space influencers are saying both cases have merit and stand a chance to change the circular at best, if not stop it. The popular and professional opinion among lawyers that are following these cases closely is that the complaint filed in the Delhi High Court has a higher chance of winning and turning into a fructified changemaker as the complaint was filed under Article 14 and 19. Both of which deal with and advocate equal protection and freedom of trade in the country.

As reported by Business Line, the next hearing for the case filed in the Delhi High Court is set to be on the 24th of May.

The silence of the Big Players

A lot of speculation surrounds the decision of players like ZebPay and Unocoin to stay quiet about the policy and take to no legal recourse. ZebPay, when approached by multiple print and TV media about the issue, has repeatedly said that the company is looking at all its other options and is determined to find a way to continue working without stepping on the toes of the regulators.

Unocoin too has made no statement on the ongoing cases nor has it expressed an interest in taking the RBI to court even though their businesses and their modus operandi are on the line here. Their silence, to a large extent, has been very unnerving to the crypto community in the country.

Other Ways of Protesting

Since the circular was released in April, the Indian crypto community has been put into a spin. The initial hue and cry subsided with the filing of online petitions on and amassing almost 30,000 signatures.

The community, however, is still on tender hooks as the RBI’s deadline of June is fast approaching as the end of May is a matter of weeks away. If the circular remains intact and is in fact implemented from July, the crypto community in the country could be on the brink of a larger play of delegitimizing the entire market and industry as a whole.

While a lot of investors and market influencers are calling for the community to remain calm because they believe that the circular does nothing but reiterate and enforce what has been happening till now, the crypto community in the country is still frustrated by the lack of justification behind the circular and are quite afraid of just how uncertain the future of the market is.

Regardless, the next month is going to be interesting as the fight against the RBI circular takes a legal turn with the added dramatics of the deadline approaching.

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