The case is likely to come up for hearing in January 2018.
In the absence of clear-cut regulations, the debate around bitcoin and other crypto-currencies has been heating up in India in recent months.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Narendra Modi government clearly don’t intend to allow their use for payments and settlements. However, crypto-currencies haven’t been explicitly banned either, and no rules pertaining to them have been laid down.
Given the ambiguity, a lawyer has taken the matter to the supreme court (SC) of India.
On Nov. 13, the SC admitted a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking clarity on the regulators’ and government’s stance on virtual currencies. The PIL states that since these virtual currencies are not tied to any bank or government, and yet allow users to transact anonymously, they can be a grave threat to the nation. Therefore, they need to be regulated or banned.
“As the virtual currencies are gaining popularity, they can be used for carrying out any illegal activity and can be used for money laundering. Therefore, I strongly believe they need to be regulated,” Dwaipayan Bhowmick, the petitioner, told Quartz.